Portuguese National Forest Stewardship Standard

The scope of the Portuguese NFSS includes plantations, semi-natural and natural forests. It can also be applied to large industrial owners and smallholders and across eucalyptus and pine plantations and cork-oak stands. It includes additional indicators and guidance for those areas that want to include hunting within the scope of their FSC certificate.

The FSC standard development process in Portugal was initiated in 2007, based on a voluntary, democratic, and participatory model. FSC Portugal started the process of switching to the new FSC Principles and Criteria (P&C) in early 2013. Work resumed in early 2015, when the final version of the international generic indicators (IGIs) was released by FSC International.

Portuguese forests

Portuguese forests occupy about 3 million hectares, that is about 35 per cent of the national territory – it is the main land use on the Portuguese mainland. Main species include eucalyptus, cork-oak, and maritime pine. The forest sector (silviculture and forest industries) supplies 2.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), 13 per cent of industrial gross value added (GAV), and 12 per cent of exports, and directly employs 100,000 people.

Global status of NFSS development

There are over 80 countries working to transfer their national standards from version 4 of the P&C to version 5. Some 10 countries have already finished or are in the last stages of finishing the process. Of the remaining 70 countries, about 40 have a standard development group with balanced representation of social, environmental, and economic stakeholders, usually supported by an FSC national or regional office. In the other 30 countries, where there is usually no FSC network presence, standards are being developed by certification bodies, resulting in interim national standards.


Joana Faria, Executive Director, FSC Portugal