Five Ways FSC Protected Forests and People Through its Standards in 2022

© Jérémie LeBlond-Fontaine
Reindeer in snow in front of snowy pine trees in Canada
© Jérémie LeBlond-Fontaine
December 13, 2022
Category : General news

Just as the forests are constantly changing and adapting, FSC’s standards, procedures and policies are continuously developed and adapted to ensure responsible forestry globally. 

Highlights for 2022 include: 

  1. Creating a path for restoration and remedy  

FSC has developed two momentous documents, Policy to Address Conversion* and the FSC Remedy Framework*, which has the potential to bring millions of hectares of degraded land under sustainable management according to certification standards.  This will benefit people and nature, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia where conversion played a role in economic development since 1994.  Now, there is an equitable and consistent path set forth for organizations to embark on for social and environmental remedy for conversion between 1 December 1994 and 31 December 2020. Any area where conversion has occurred after the cut-off date is strictly forbidden to become FM certified. The corresponding changes to the Principles and Criteria were supported by members via Motion 37 at the General Assembly and will be published in early 2023. 

  1. Streamlined our standard setting process 

FSC is a standard setting system, where our standards are created based on the input of our diverse stakeholders. How we develop and revise our international standards is regulated by FSC-PRO-01-001*, which is now revised to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of standard setting and developing more targeted and simplified ways for stakeholder engagement in the standard setting process while maintaining transparency.  

  1. Making a stepwise approach for community and family forests to certification  

FSC has published the ground breaking and flexible tool – FSC’s Continuous Improvement Procedure, an innovative way to empower small scale, low intensity and community forests to become FSC certified. This procedure offers a flexible way to access FSC forest management certification by conforming to the applicable FSC standard progressively throughout the first certification cycle comprised of five (5) years. This procedure can be used with other policy instruments developed to make FSC certification more accessible for community and family forests. Learn more here.  

  1. Enhancing auditing practices in the forest 

With the revision of FSC’s Forest Management Evaluations Standard*, we have now incorporated novel approaches and learned innovations from the past years to streamline auditing. With the revised standard, FSC is increasing the transparency and efficiency of outcome-oriented and risk-based forest management evaluations. Key changes include the introduction of national Forest Stewardship Standards risk assessments, digital audit reporting, improved audit resource planning and streamlined requirements for small scale, low intensity and community forests. 

  1. Increasing FSC’s global impact by broadening FSC certification with national standards 

In 2022, FSC has released 5 new national standards to promote responsible forestry in the respective countries and regions of Austria, Ecuador, India, Paraguay and the regional standard for Central America (for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica). The standards for the Netherlands and Malaysia were revised and released to reflect local requirements and objectives, as well as two translations to local language of the standards for Belize and Suriname. FSC now has 78 Forest Stewardship Standards released across the globe. 


Three Ways YOU Can Protect Forests in 2023 

Check for the tree when shopping and buy only FSC-certified forest products 

Participate in a public consultation through the Consultation Platform 

Become an FSC member and shape our system 

*Will be published in 2023.