FSC Interim Forest Stewardship Standard for Panama Published

Yadid Ordonez Sierra
The standard becomes effective on 01 January 2024.
Forest worker surveys tree trunk in Panama forest
Yadid Ordonez Sierra
September 25, 2023
Category : Standards

The new FSC Interim Forest Stewardship Standard (IFSS) for Panama has been published and becomes effective on 01 January 2024. The IFSS for Panama promotes responsible forestry in Panama, by ensuring social responsibility, environmental protection, and economic sustainability, while by transferring FSC’s Principles & Criteria into forest management on the ground

With a population of 4,279,000 in 2020, and a density of 57 inhabitants per square kilometer, Panama is administratively divided into provinces, districts, and indigenous comarcas, which are physically demarcated intending to protect Indigenous Peoples' rights and territories.

Panama boasts a forest coverage of 60.5% of its total area of 75,416.6 square kilometers in 2019. This country features a tropical climate influenced by its Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), topography, and oceanic access. According to the “Asociación Nacional de Reforestadores y Afines de Panamá (ANARAP)”, the country is a major exporter of timber (specifically Teak) in the region, bearing 43,000 hectares of Teak plantations, which ranks first in Teak exports in Central America and third in the Americas (Ministry of Environment, 2021).

The new IFSS will contribute to promote responsible forest management in both plantations and natural forests, while contributing to livelihoods, income generation and local employment.  It will also contribute to the conservation of natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats including threatened and endangered species and protect water sources in managed forests, while also delivering many benefits to certificate holders including better and expanded market access, strengthened image and status in the market.

The development process of the IFSS for Panama took place in between January 2018 and July 2022, and was developed considering the national context and diverse environmental, social and geographical conditions of the country.  The process included two public consultations with various stakeholders, reaching a consensus with social, environmental, and economic interests. The IFSS will be a strong asset in addressing the new challenges to the silviculture that climate change will bring in the near future and the protection of forests in Panama.

The official version (Spanish) of the IFSS for Panama and a translated (into English) version can be downloaded at the FSC Document Center. Please contact nationalstandards@fsc.org for any enquiries regarding the standard.