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The motion was discussed and voted on by FSC members who took part in the FSC General Assembly 2021-2022.
Bonn, Germany - FSC members passed a motion today (Motion 37) to make changes to the FSC Principles and Criteria to enable implementation of the Policy to Address Conversion at the FSC General Assembly held in Bali, Indonesia from 9-14 October 2022. The decision is the result of discussions among members for many years through a series of different processes.
This change will provide a route by which millions of hectares of forests can be restored and then become FSC certified and managed in a responsible manner according to the Principles and Criteria. With this, FSC can become relevant in the restoration space as a tool that provides market incentives to restore deforested and degraded land.
FSC has restricted conversion of natural forests since it was formally established in 1994. Forest plantations which have been established by converting natural forests after that year have since then not been eligible for FSC certification - if the Organization was responsible for the conversion. As the years passed, conversion and FSC’s role in restoration remained relevant topics for members, and in August of 2022, the Board of Directors adopted a Policy to Address Conversion.
The passing of this motion will also enable FSC to provide a new Remedy Framework for the social and environmental harm caused by conversion, promoting the expansion of forest restoration and social remedy to ultimately address global deforestation.
*Update (14 October 2022): Motion 45 'Enhance and Improve the Conversion and Remedy Package to Protect FSC's Credibility' was also voted through (passed) at this year's GA. This complements Motion 37.
For more clarity, please watch this video featuring FSC members with different views on this motion, what it means for FSC and the future of forests worldwide.