FSC’s Policy on Conversion was developed to guide the review and revision of relevant FSC Principles and Criteria, and to advise the national standard developers in creating the corresponding indicators. In addition, the policy will provide overall guidance to the Policy of Association and other elements of the normative framework which regulate conversion.

The purpose of the policy is to establish overarching rules for conversion, and to align the diverse ways in which conversion is treated in different parts of the FSC normative framework. Additionally, the policy aims to define principles for compensation on past conversion and to define the corresponding compensatory mechanism. A working group was formed in August 2018, to develop the FSC Policy on Conversion. The working group is comprised of six members, equally representing economic, environmental and social interests, in addition to equal representation of the global South and global North. The terms of reference of the working group can be accessed here.

The policy contains:

  1. 1994 cut-off date: To retain, remove or change the rules to address past conversion.
  2. Principles for compensation on past conversion, in terms of:
    a) restoration and/or conservation of environmental values
    b) restitution of socio-economic values
  3. The concept of acceptable conversion as defined under current FSC rules.

The objective of the public consultation is to collect valuable feedback from stakeholders on several fundamental policy areas. FSC encourages all interested stakeholders to participate and provide their input during this period, as this input is critical to the further development of the policy.

The feedback from the second consultation will be discussed and – if needed – incorporated into the final policy. The final version of the FSC Policy on Conversion will be submitted to the FSC Board of Directors for approval following the completion of the public consultation.

For more information on the FSC Policy on Conversion and the public consultation, please contact Yan Li, project coordinator at y.li@fsc.org.