What is FSC?
What is FSC? Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-government and non-profit organisation, established by the stakeholders from environmental and social organisations, as well as by forest owners and forest product producers worldwide. FSC has worked out the principles and criteria of sustainable forest management. When buying a FSC-labelled product, the consumer may be sure it comes from a responsibly managed forest where the environment, social, and economic aspects are duly accounted for. Detailed information about the FSC is at the website address www.fsc.org .
What is the FSC major goal? The FSC major goal is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests so as to maintain and increase in the future the forest resource volume and value and enhance the ecological functions of woodlands.
How is FSC functioning? FSC functions along three lines: working out the principles and criteria of good forestry practices; approving national standards for FSC certification; accrediting certification programmes and independent certification bodies and assessors who are authorized to certify forest managers and forest product producers to the FSC standards. In each individual country the forestry is certified following its national FSC standard, worked out by non-governmental stakeholder groups, representing environmental, economic, and social interests. The certification is a voluntary process with a decision to go through it taken by the forest owner/manager.
How popular is the FSC
certification? As of July 2012, over 157 million hectares of woodlands in more than 80 countries are certified according to FSC standards; the number of the chain-of-custody certificate holders exceeds 23000.
How is national FSC standard applied? The national FSC standards to be approved by the FSC international organisations are worked out taking into account the specific situation in the given country. FSC itself does not certify forest operations or wood product manufacturers. It is done by the certification bodies which are accrdited by the Accreditation Services International (ASI). Certification bodies assess compliance of the respective forest management unit with the national standard and issue a certificate for the forest area.
Who are FSC members? Both organisations and individuals can be FSC members. As of now, the number of organisational and indivirual members is more than 850 representing a variety of stakeholder groups concerned about forestry:
- environmental organisations as the World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth;
- social movements and trade unions, for instance, the United Methodist Church of USA, the General Workers Union in Denmark, the Swedish Forest and Wood Trade Union;
- forest management and forest industry enterprises, and forest product manufacturers and traders, for instance, IKEA, OBI and others.
How is FSC funded? Most of the funding comes from accreditation program. Donation program, membership program and commercial services make the rest of the funding.