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The first FSC Interim Forest Stewardship Standard (IFSS) for Serbia has been published, promoting sustainable and responsible forest management in the country and ensuring social responsibility, environmental protection, and economic sustainability. It will provide Serbian foresters with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the well-known and recognized Serbian tradition of forestry; including the preservation of High Conservation Value forests, to showcase modern sustainable forest management, while also reaching public and market demands.
Forests have always been a part of Serbia, both in difficult times and the years of prosperity. Considered a medium-wooded country, 29.1% of Serbia's total territory is forested. The total area of forests in Serbia is 2,252,400 ha., out of which 53% is owned by the state and 47% in private ownership. The idea of cohabitation and sustainable use of forests can be traced back in the Serbian history (e.g.-Dušan’s law-code, 14th century). The first written record on the Serbian forests (1884-1885) speaks about it as an important factor - not only of development of the country, but also of religious, cultural and aesthetic heritage. With a history rich with forest protection, Serbia can now extend this practise further with the new FSC Interim Forest Stewardship Standard to enhance its values.
The new IFSS reflects the public's demands for forest protection and best practices in forestry, and valuing important ecological and cultural values in the forests. This includes identifying and protecting representative areas of natural ecosystems and restoring them if necessary.
The process for developing the IFSS for Serbia included consultations with various stakeholders and reaching a consensus with social, environmental, and economic interests. A final onsite workshop was conducted to organize open discussion on key changes and raise awareness in interested parties on this process.
The new IFSS standard will be an opportunity to certify a variety of ownership categories - monastery and church forests, communal (municipal) forests, forests managed by water management and agricultural organizations, since the new IFSS for Serbia applies to all categories of Management Units including small or low intensity managed forests (SLIMFs). It also sets out ways in which organizations and forest owners can collaborate with communities and other stakeholders.
The adoption of the new IFSS could provide many benefits to certificate holders including better and expanded market access, strengthened image and status in the market, and the use of FSC label for promotional and marketing purposes. The new standard becomes effective on 01 September 2023.
Please contact email@example.com for any inquiries regarding the standard. The IFSS for Serbia (English version) can be downloaded at the FSC Document Centre.