Concerns over global deforestation have been at the core of FSC since its founding.

FSC is a pioneer that introduced multi-stakeholder agreements and a robust governance structure to guide its mission: delivering deforestation free wood and wood-based products to society. 

By providing solutions to combat deforestation through a set of rules that define responsible forest management, FSC does not allow for deforestation to occur in its certified forest areas. Its standards have strict requirements to ensure that forest managers maintain their forest cover, and conserve or enhance their forest’s structure, biodiversity, and productivity. 
FSC’s tools to counter deforestation include the use of indicators for planning and monitoring forest management interventions, assessing risks and evaluating the impacts on forests. Specific FSC requirements to maintain forests with high conservation values and intact forest landscapes complement these indicators. 

FSC is a tool to fight deforestation

Over many years, FSC has been advocating for a holistic approach towards forest protection, where governments, businesses, Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders contribute to the debate. FSC certification can contribute to secure safeguarding measures required to prevent deforestation, but protected areas must also be part of the solution to combat forests’ decline. 

In addition to combating deforestation through a set of rules, FSC certification ensures plantations do not contribute to deforestation, but are developed in good ways. Plantations can in turn become part of the solution as they produce large amounts of wood from smaller areas.  
FSC also promotes dialogue with Indigenous Peoples who have preserved their forests for thousands of years using their ancestral knowledge, thus becoming their best guardians.  

In April 2021, FSC shared five recommendations to the EU commission for a robust EU legislation aiming at minimizing the risk that products associated with deforestation are placed on the EU market. 

In April 2022, FSC shared 10 suggestions to improve the EU rules for deforestation-free products - as a member of the EU Platform on Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests and key stakeholder on the matter, Our position and recommendations are as follows: 

  • Supporting the fight against deforestation and degradation   
  • Specifying the proposed definitions by aligning them with the Accountability Framework   
  • Expanding the list of commodities to all wood products and rubber   
  • Broadening the scope of the Regulation to other ecosystems   
  • Reinforcing due diligence   
  • Employing voluntary sustainability standards meeting strict credibility criteria as part of the risk assessment and risk mitigation phase   
  • Enhancing protection of Indigenous Peoples   
  • Supporting traceability requirements and empowering smallholders   
  • Boosting cooperation and partnerships with producer countries   
  • Including deforestation-free criteria in EU mandatory Green Public Procurement