Market Solutions for Small-Scale Forests and Communities

To overcome barriers faced by small-scale and community forests, various efforts have been made. FSC is reviewing and simplifying its normative framework. This is an important contribution, but it is widely recognized that this will not be enough to make FSC certification more attractive for small-scale and community forestry. To add value to FSC certification, FSC has developed market access plans for several FSC certified forest operations. However, it became clear that a large number of different disabling conditions in each case made it difficult to implement these projects with an individual value chain approach. So now, we are looking to the collective impact model as well as ongoing value chain approach efforts to support market access. 

Community and Family Forests Program
Mexico Family forests

Co-Creating Collective Benefits

Through our work with small-scale and community forests we have learned that we need to embrace complexity and find ways for producing enabling market conditions. A proven way of finding mutually beneficial, or collective, benefits is the collective impact model. Collective impact is a proven model, initially devised by the Kennedy School at Harvard and published by Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2011. It proposes the joint commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific problem with relevant social dimensions. In order for the commitment to be successfully achieved, five criteria must be secured:

1. Common agenda: All participating organizations (including government agencies, organizations, non-profits, community members, etc.) must have a shared vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through a set of agreed actions;

2. Mutually reinforcing activities: There must be engagement and participation of a diverse set of stakeholders, typically in multiple sectors, coordinating a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action;

3. Shared measurement system: There must be agreement on the way success will be measured and reported, with a set of key indicators by all participating organizations;

4. Continuous communications: There must be frequent communications over a long period of time among key players within and between organizations, to build trust and encourage ongoing learning and adaptation; and

5. Backbone organization: Ongoing support must be provided by an independent staff.

So, rather than focus efforts on local value chain strategies, the adoption of collective impact would seek a process grounded in a systemic approach.

Collective Impact Info

We have been implementing this model in three separate countries in Latin America. Read the updates in the briefing note to learn more and understand our goals for pursuing the collective impact approach. 

Co-Creating Collective Benefits Briefing Note.pdf
PDF, Size: 4.52MB
2020_04_29_FR_New Approaches_Factsheet_Collective Impact - FINAL
PDF, Size: 390.97KB

Value Chain Approach for Rubber Latex

Unlike timber, it is hard to directly trace the source of natural rubber latex coming from different forests. FSC can certify rubber plantations. But the industry includes an unknown number of people acting as dealers and brokers who collect the latex from various forest owners before passing it on to manufacturers and processing facilities in an uncontrolled manner. This makes it hard to achieve a clean due diligence system required by FSC. However, the growing market for sustainable products, including the international tyre manufacturing industry, is increasingly asking for certified products.


2020-04_New Approaches_Factsheet_Value chain approach for natural rubber latex
PDF, Size: 1.67MB