FSC’s position on Russia's war on Ukraine

No material from Russia or Belarus until the invasion ends.

Because of the association of the forest sector in Russia and Belarus with armed invasion, no FSC-certified material or controlled wood from these countries will be permitted to be traded.

tree sleuths

FSC remains deeply concerned about Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and stands in solidarity with all victims of this violence. With full commitment to FSC’s mission and standards, and after a thorough analysis of the potential impact of withdrawal of FSC certification, the FSC International Board of Directors has agreed to suspend all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and to block all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries.

Read the full statement here

For more details and clarity on FSC’s decision, please read this FAQ.

For technical questions, visit this page.

Update: Certificates in Ukraine conflict areas suspended

FSC remains determined to continue to support Ukrainian certificate holders as far as possible, and therefore will allow certification bodies – the independent auditors of FSC certificate holders – to continue their work in areas not affected by war, for example through remote audits and extending the time between audits to over a year, if required.   

At the same time, FSC must continue to protect the integrity of the FSC system. In the invaded regions of Ukraine, government legislation cannot be enforced, and it is not safe for the auditors to carry out their work. These factors dramatically increase the risks of forests not being managed according to FSC’s standards, and therefore FSC has no choice but to require the suspension of the relevant certificates. The suspension will be effective on 4 May 2022.

For more information please read the full article here.

Additional material related to FSC’s decision

FSC’s leadership is currently discussing the war Russia is leading in the Ukraine. We want to be clear that we’re strongly opposed to the war. It is appalling and doesn’t belong in the 21st Century.

The war situation obliges us to take a stance and to take action. We will act in accordance with our mission, and while making the necessary decisions, we would like to keep you informed about our discussions, thoughts and investigations. To that end, we’re posting these video and news updates every few days.

FSC remains committed to its vision of Forests for All, Forever. 

Forest for Future Podcast

On Tuesday 8 March 2022 FSC communicated our decision to suspend all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus, so no product from either countries can be sold with FSC claims after 8 April 2022. Forest management certificates in Russia can remain valid but without the ability to trade.  

The decision was almost two weeks underway, and, in this new episode of Forest for the Future, we dive into why it was such a difficult decision to make and what we expect the impact of it will be on both the people and forests; not only in the effected regions but also around the globe.  

To help answer these difficult questions, we invited Kim Carstensen, FSC Director General, Marc Jessel, FSC System Integrity Director, and Lieske Van Santen, FSC Global Network Director.  

Find the podcast here:   

Spotify  

Itunes    

Castbox 

Google Podcasts 

Podtail 

FSC Russia and FSC International end their partnership

Due to operational and staff concerns, the Board of Directors of FSC Russia has decided to end its contractual relationship with FSC International.  As of today, all services, activities and member-related activities undertaken by FSC Russia will be taken over by FSC International.

Read more

Update on Ukraine crisis decision from FSC Director General

7 March 2022

Summary of Video

  • FSC will shortly be making a decision on our certificates in Russia and Belarus.
  • FSC cannot play a part in allowing trade in forest products to fuel the war in Ukraine.
  • At the same time, we must consider how we can continue to be a force for responsible forest management in Russia and Belarus – this is our mission.
  • We are taking the extra time we need to grapple with this difficult decision. Thank you for your support and understanding.

FSC will act on the war in Ukraine, but will seek to do so wisely, listening to civil society partners in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia

4 March 2022

Summary of Video

  • Russian, Belarusian and Ukranian FSC members agree that the war is contrary to the values that we stand for as FSC. All agree we need to take action, as FSC.
  • FSC is a platform for civil society to come together to find solutions for responsible forest management. That was the case in the past, and it must be the case in the future.
  • Before we announce action related to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in the coming days, we want to make sure we take wise action that can ensure continued responsible forest management in these countries. This is our responsibility to the people of these countries and to the world.