Kim Carstensen, Director General of the Forest Stewardship Council said: “FSC is keen to support the Commission’s commitments to step up EU action against global deforestation and forest degradation. As a global catalyst of wood and wood-based products, Europe must commit to a more sustainable approach to forestry and consumption of forest products.
“We welcome the importance the Commission is giving to voluntary certification schemes as well as its call for real and verifiable performance. FSC is already playing an important role in securing deforestation and forest degradation free paper and timber products and we are willing to cooperate with the Commission to offer our experience as the most robust and trusted global forest certification scheme.”
Published on 23 July, the Framework’s two-fold objective of protecting and improving the health of existing forests while significantly increasing sustainable, biodiverse forest coverage worldwide is an important step to mitigate climate change, to safeguard the biodiversity that forests offer, as well as the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them.
This vision is in step with FSC’s principles, whereby sustainable forest management is balanced with environmental safeguards and local economic and social development.
For example, FSC offers a set of robust, international forest management indicators adapted to national circumstances and a policy for association that commits businesses to not involve themselves in illegal harvesting activities or forest conversion, among others, also outside of their certified operations.
FSC is also further strengthening its supply chains to avoid the infrequent scenario where material from non-certified sources is included in its products. For example, in partnership with international research institutions, extensive global sampling of tree species is underway to help identify the origin of wood products. This will go a long way towards combatting illegal logging.
Additionally, in 2018, FSC launched its ecosystem services procedure. This procedure provides a step forward in impact verification of forest management activities on ecosystem services. In so doing, it makes protection and enhancement of such services eligible for financial assistance.
Forest certification is already playing an important role in the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation, in EU ecolabelling criteria for relevant products, and increasingly in sustainable biomass use. FSC is ready to work with the Commission on extending its role in reducing the EU ecological footprint related to forests as well as its initiatives for forest and landscape restoration worldwide.