Forest Certification Comparison A brief look at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council By Sara Jo Shepler June 1, 2010
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) • Origins • founded in 1993 • response to 1992 UN conference • addresses global deforestation, land use practices, pollution, ecosystem degradation in unmanaged forests • Primary Focus • Indigenous rights • labor rights • environmental impacts • Where in the world? • over 50 countries participate globally • most of Europe, Africa, South America • www.fsc.org , May 2010 http://nature.wallpaperme.com/random?g2_itemId=5024 www.fscus.org
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) • Origins • established in 1994 • also response to 1992 UN conference • address “market concerns about forest management and illegal logging, primarily in developing countries” • Primary Focus • biodiversity conservation • SFI fiber sourcing requirements • training and support for loggers and programs • Where in the world? • North America: 9 programs in the US, 4 in Canada • www.sfiprogram.org/miscPDFs/SFP key facts1.pdf , May 2010 forestry.about.com/library/graphics/rockmt1.jpg www.sfiprogram.org
Findings • SFI rated higher in: • Clear guidelines = easy application to local scale • Clearer and better coordinated assessment process • Continuous improvements required over time • Extensive staff training is required • FSC rated higher in: • Comprehensiveness • Addresses biological, ecological and social issues • More attention given to concerns of various stakeholders Sample, Price, Mater 2003 www.californiachaparral.com/images/560_Sly_Park_Forest_II.jpg
Implications • Programs differ in “origins and approaches” but impact each other • Social considerations • Chain of custody • Procurement requirements • Criticisms of programs addressed through competition, alternative standards (Tikina and Innes 2008) www.cs.uni.edu/~wallingf/blog-images/misc/forest.jpg
Questions? Foster B, Wang D, Keeton W. 2008. An Exploratory, Post-Harvest Comparison of Ecological and Economic Characteristics of Forest Stewardship Council Certified and Uncertified Northern Hardwood Stands. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 26:3, 171-191. Sample VA, Price W, Mater C. 2003. Cerification on Public and University Lands. Journal of Forestry. December: 21-25. Tikina A, Innes J. 2008. A framework for assessing the effectiveness of forest certification. Canadian Journal of Forest Resources. 38: 1357-1365.