The IUFRO D5 conference, held in Estoril, Portugal from July 8–13, focused on some of the most pressing issues concerning forests and forest products. The conference included a range of keynote talks and technical sessions.

Dr Marion Karmann, FSC’s M&E programme manager, attended poster sessions where she demonstrated how the responsible use of forest products contributes to the conservation of forest areas. Using the example of cork forest management, she explained that this is because the forest resources benefit the community. She further explained how FSC certification informs consumers about responsible forest management, so producers can benefit from informed consumer decisions.

Dr Karmann also gave a short presentation to the non-timber forest product (NTFP) research group. This looked at the current status, history, challenges and new approaches to FSC certification of NTFPs in forest management.

During an interview with the conference organizers, Dr Karmann explained why FSC took part in the IUFRO D5 conference. “FSC invites researchers to look into and evaluate FSC’s effects and impacts, and to share with FSC their doubts about FSC’s claims, potential lack of impact, strengths and challenges. FSC wants to learn from researchers’ findings about FSC. FSC offers researchers support in understanding the complexity of FSC’s governance, policies and strategies, in finding relevant information and in networking.”

FSC agreed with IUFRO office holders that the FSC M&E programme will help to organise a session on certification-related research during the IUFRO World Congress in 2014. FSC is currently applying for full IUFRO membership to emphasize the importance of certification-related research.

Find out more about the FSC M&E programme here