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Sustainable forestry and forest conservation have often been viewed as being incompatible as they are trying to achieve different objectives. One approach to combining these is the use of forest certification schemes. These provide an assurance to both providers of certified products and consumers that they are promoting sustainable management as well as the conservation of biodiversity.
One of the most widespread and well known certification schemes is run by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC was established in 1982 following the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio Summit) and is the fastest growing forest certification system in the world (UN FAO, 2007). In April 2008, more than 100 million ha forest in 79 countries were certified to FSC standards. This represents the equivalent of 7% of the world’s productive forest and reflects a massive increase in the area of forest coming under sustainable management, particularly in some regions of world such as South America.
The aim of this indicator is therefore to track the change in the area of forest under FSC certification since 1982. It will also assess the extent to which forest certification schemes such as those run by the FSC contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of biodiversity.
This project will build on previous work undertaken by UNEP-WCMC in partnership with WWF, GTZ, and FSC. It will run until 2010, and will form the basis for the development of indicators which include other forest certification schemes such as the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) forest products marking program, and the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI).
Link to sustainable use page on Biodiversity Indicators Partnership website.
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