The five highlights for 2021 are the following:

1) Protecting Workers Through Core Labour Requirements

Companies will be checked for their respect for workers’ rights through the inclusion of FSC core labour requirements in the revised FSC Chain of Custody standards (FSC-STD-40-004 & FSC-STD-20-011). These requirements bring auditable social compliance requirements in FSC’s chain of custody standards; impacting more than 50,000 certificate holders worldwide.

The FSC core labour requirements include effective abolition of child labour, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, respect of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Learn more about the process here and visit the Document Centre here.

2) Protecting Communities with New Free, Prior and Informed Consent Guidelines

FSC continues its dedicated approach to protect Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights by publishing new guidelines on securing a participatory and equitable approach to decision making through the implementation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). This new version of the FSC Guidelines for the Implementation of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) can be downloaded in the Document Centre here. To learn about the process visit the page here.

3) Encouraging Community and Family Forest Certification Through Revised Group Standard

The Forest Management Groups standard allows several forest management units to join together and form a group under one FSC certification This streamlines tasks, alleviates the administrative burden, can help reduce costs thanks to the economy of scale and is the main tool used in FSC certification of small forest properties. The updated standard can be viewed in the Document Centre here and you can learn more about the process here.

4) Increasing FSC’s Global Impact by Broadening FSC Certification with National Standards

In 2021 alone, FSC has released 8 new national standards to promote responsible forestry in the respective countries and regions of Cuba, New Caledonia, Belgium, Colombia, Uruguay, Sri-Lanka, Mexico and Kenya. The Russian and Chinese forest stewardship standards were revised to reflect local requirements and objectives.

5) Maintaining Functioning of the FSC System During COVID with Derogations

COVID-19 has presented FSC with many challenges, the most important of which is to protect the health of certificate holders and auditors at the frontline of our work, while maintaining FSC’s mission to take care of the world’s forests.  

As a result, FSC maintained several derogations and interpretations related to COVID-19 with an aim to protect auditors and certificate holder staff and to allow them to continue to be operational. These derogations and interpretations have been published throughout the year and are found in the newsfeed on the FSC website by selecting “COVID-19 updates.”

Do you want to do more to protect the forests next year? Well here are three ways you can support sustainable forestry in your life:

3 Ways YOU Can Protect Forests in 2022

  1. Check for the tree when shopping and buy only FSC-certified forest products
  2. Participate in a public consultation through the Consultation Platform
  3. Become an FSC member and shape our system