One size doesn’t fit all
Small-scale and community forests have specific characteristics, such as land size, ownership or internal governance that require tailor made solutions. Finding globally relevant and locally adaptable policy and market tools and solutions 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 series of policy and market tools aimed towards increasing uptake of FSC certification as well as adding benefit for these certificate holders.
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.
Engage, communicate, train and fundraise.
We have developed normative documents specifically with small-scale and community forests in mind. These are explained in detail below. But these aren't the only relevant normative processes.
Getting certified doesn't help if there is no profitable market for the products, or ways for small-scale forest owners and communities to connect to available markets. This is why we are exploring value chains...
We understand that getting certified can be a complicated and difficult process and it can be hard to know where even to begin. First, it is helpful to identify the following before diving into the certification solutions we have built:
How large is the area you are planning to certify? Do you have this recorded somehow? Learn more about certification process here.
Individual or Group?
How is your forestry operation managed? Are there any associations in the vicinity who could join you in a group? Or any existing groups you can join? Learn more about Group Certification.
Where are you located? Are there any local FSC representative such as a national office or FSC Network Partner? What about regional representation? You can find locations and contact information here.
Which forest, non-timber forest products such as nuts, or ecosystem services could be included in the certification scope?
Finding Applicable FSC Standards and Procedures
To make FSC policy or certification solutions more relevant and adaptable to small-scale and community operations, we have worked on three international normative documents. One is the Group Standard, which allows for smaller operations to work together in a "group" and share certification costs. To make National Forest Stewardship Standards relevant for smaller operations, FSC has created criteria that can be incorporated to these national standards, called "small and low intensity forest criteria (SLIMF)." Currently, we are working on developing an innovative procedure aimed at allowing for operations to commit to sustainability and conform with a subset of criteria in a step-wise approach, called to Continuous Improvement Procedure.
All can be used together and can complement certification requirements. Learn more and explore them by clicking the links below:
FSC has developed a Group Standard to allow for organizations to come together and form a single "group" and share the costs.
Continuous Improvement Procedure
Currently under development, this procedure will allow for a stepwise approach to certification.
Adapting National Standards
FSC has developed small and low-intensity forest (SLIMF) criteria. These criteria are for national standard developers to incorporate into their national standards and helps streamline certification requirements...
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.
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.