For almost 25 years now, Belgium has had certified forests in the country with 30,000 ha certified today.  

To produce the Belgian INS, consultations were carried out in the different regions of the country with more than 120 comments and proposals received by a variety of stakeholders. This feedback lead to an adaptation of around forty indicators and the formulation of clarifying notes allowing a better understanding of the new FSC standard for Belgium. 

This new standard pays particular attention to the diversification of species used and the structure of forest stands. It also contributes to the development of strategies in favor of greater biodiversity. Concrete measures are also promulgated by this standard in case of a high density of game, a real scourge for many Belgian forests. With the introduction of this standard, users in Belgium can now use FSC certification to valuate ecosystem services in addition to forest products in their management units. As a result, the Belgian INS promotes greater resilience of forests through providing a framework for responsible forestry in the face of climate change while providing economic benefits to forest managers. 

In the end, thanks to this process, forest owners and managers will have access to a unique and updated FSC interim national standard for Belgium. The standard will be translated into Dutch and French available through the local Network Partner. Additionally, it will be better adapted but also more specific on a whole series of subjects which are directly or indirectly related with what currently drives the forestry world in Belgium.  

The INS of Belgium (English version) can be viewed in the FSC Document Centre here.  

The INS of Belgium can be used for the certification of rough wood for all types of organizations working in all types of forests in Belgium, including small and low-intensity managed forests (SLIMF).  

The INS is based on the FSC Principles and Criteria (V5-2) and the international generic indicators (IGIs). Ecocert IMOswiss AG performed the adaptation process and stakeholder consultation. FSC approved the INS on 31 May 2021.  

Please contact the FSC team working on forest management by email at forestmanagement@fsc.org with any questions.