Sustainable Intensification

To provide forest materials to a growing world population, production must be increased. At the same time, we are faced with a global need to stop deforestation and forest degradation, and the need to protect high conservation values, including intact forest landscapes. To stop biodiversity loss and retain forest ecosystem services, much more forest area should be protected.

FSC Sustainable Intensification
CC Felix Mittermeier

FSC is engaged in conversations related to this complicated subject, working with stakeholders to answer difficult questions. How can the forest sector work to obtain both increased production and increased protection at the same time? And what role can FSC play in making this happen?

Sustainable intensification has been proposed as part of the approach to address these pressing issues, bolstered by a range of interventions, spanning from governance reforms to technological innovations. 

Often the term intensification is used in relation to wood: strategies or methods to increase wood production. However, this definition can and should be used to refer to broader strategies and other forest production, such as ecosystem services.

To this end, FSC initiated the establishment of a sustainable intensification solutions forum (SISF), in close cooperation with the Sustainable Intensification Advisory Group (SIAG). This forum is comprised of six members from the environmental, social and economic chambers in FSC, from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

A broader discussion with all FSC members and other stakeholders at the FSC General Assembly, planned for October 2020, will provide recommendations to the Board of Directors, who will decide how FSC will take intensification forward.

The key subjects for this process that have been identified are:

  • Social justice
  • Risks and safeguards
  • Ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Efficiencies
  • Relevance in landscape
  • Improving FSC tools