Solutions for Small-Scale and Community Forests

Small-scale and community forests are at the heart of FSC. The specific challenges that these groups face are not only linked to the requirements of FSC certification, which are sometimes too complex or costly for them, but also to access markets that value sustainability. To rise to these challenges, we are continuously working on increasing our impact and making the FSC system more attractive to these stakeholders under the Community and Family Forests program.

Community and Family Forests Program
FSC Smallholder and Communities
FSC Denmark

One size doesn’t fit all

Small-scale, family and community forests have specific characteristics, such as land size, ownership or internal governance that require tailor made approaches. Finding globally relevant and locally adaptable policy solutions and business or market related tools has been our goal for over 25 years. We have learned to embrace the complex barriers and challenges facing these groups and have created a toolbox aimed towards increasing uptake of FSC certification as well as adding benefit for these constituents. 

In line with our FSC Global Strategy 2021-2026, we have divided our work into three distinct work streams; enablers, market solutions and policy solutions. These are all meant to complement each other to help increase uptake and benefit of FSC certification of small-scale and community forests. 

Work Streams

work for us


Engage, communicate, train and fundraise.

Congolese forest

Policy Solutions

The FSC system had always considered small-scale and community forests. Many normative documents are relevant. But we have now taken it one step further and revised and developed several policy solutions with...

market development

Market Tools

Getting certified doesn't help if there is no way for small-scale forest owners and communities to connect to markets that value sustainability. This is why we are exploring both systemic and value chain...

Bridge forest 1
Aleksey Kuprikov / Pexels

Building on Experience

We have developed policy and market based tools and solutions after trying, testing, and developing internationally recognised and proven methodologies for over 25 years. Dive deeper into our history and learn more here

forests for the future


Forest for the future podcast series. Episode 9: Making FSC relevant for smallholders and communities worldwide. Interview with Vera Santos, New Approaches Project Manager at FSC

25.08.20. Smallholders and community forests play a key role in combatting climate change but only a fraction of them are certified to FSC. What is FSC doing to change that fact and make our system more relevant to this very important group of forest owners? Vera will explain more about the solutions they are testing currently, like contractor certification, modular approach to certification and improvements to the group certification standard. 

Listen now