FSC international membership has requested FSC puts in place a mechanism, building on previous work, to develop a holistic policy on conversion of natural forests to plantations. Through this mechanism, FSC should also ensure all principles, criteria and indicators are properly taken into account in the new policy, and provide guidance to national standards development groups to consider compensation measures for past conversion.

Accordingly, a working group representing social, environmental and economic interests was established to develop a first draft of a holistic policy on conversion. FSC launched the first public consultation to comment on that draft in August and September 2019. Subsequently, FSC established the technical working group to develop a mechanism to translate the FSC policy on conversion into operational practices.

The technical working group is expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • Criteria, indicators and thresholds for conversion across FSC’s core policies and standards – including policy for association, the FSC Principles and Criteria, international generic indicators, and controlled wood standards – as well as related definitions.
  • Instructions for standard developers to address any revised international generic indicators on conversion in national forest stewardship standards and interim national standards.
  • Compensation procedure and proposals for verification developed for:
    a) organizations that want to be associated with FSC (e.g. as member, certificate holder);
    b) certification applicants to address their conversion;
    c) members and certificate holders suspended because of violation of conversion rules.
  • Draft text for a possible 2020 general assembly motion. Its aim would be to reword the FSC Principles and Criteria and to align the IGIs, national forest stewardship standards, Policy for Association and controlled wood standards with the Policy on Conversion.

The members of the newly formed technical working group include:

Name Background
Jamie Lawrence Forest Economy Lead, TNC
Karen Kirkman Independent Consultant
Michael Allen Brady Principal Scientist & Team Leader, Value Chains, Finance and Investment (VFI), CIFOR
Vera Lex Engel Associate Professor, São Paulo State University-UNESP


For more information about the project, please visit our website.

Please contact FSC Policy Manager, Yan Li, at y.li@fsc.org if you have any questions or inquiries.