Status of forest management certification in Poland

Small river running through a forest
Abril 5, 2023
Categoría : Noticias generales

Status of forest management certification in Poland

Statement last updated on 6 March 2024

The Polish timber industry faces one of the most serious crises in its history. One of the drivers of this is the is the loss of competitiveness of Polish timber products due to the decrease in supply of FSC-certified timber triggered by discontinuation of FSC in state forests (details below).

According to an open letter sent to the Polish Prime Minister from the largest Polish timber industry associations representing the whole industry with 400 thousand employees in Poland, tens of thousands of jobs have already been lost. Many companies, especially small and medium ones, are at the edge of bankruptcy. They appeal to the Prime Minister to acknowledge the importance of this crisis and intervene.

In addition to opening markets for Polish products abroad, FSC gives control over forest management to the society by allowing externals to participate in a forest management audit and by publishing reports from audits in a public database. There are strict requirements in terms of who can perform these audits, which provides integrity and impartiality to the system.

FSC is also key to protecting High Conservation Value (HCV) areas - certified forest managers are obliged to identify, protect and monitor these areas.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has been a vital component of sustainable forest management in Poland for over 25 years. Until recently, approximately two-thirds of the total forest area of 9.2 million hectares in the country were FSC-certified. The certified forests are managed by the Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSF) and two Forest Experimental Stations under the University of Poznań.

Despite the ongoing dialogue between FSC International and Polish State Forests, eleven Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSFs), representing an area of roughly 4.3 million hectares, have opted to discontinue FSC certification in their respective regions. The affected regions include:

  • Gdańsk (FSC-certified area: 303,938 ha)
  • Toruń (FSC-certified area: 456,447 ha)
  • Poznań (FSC-certified area: 419,535 ha)
  • Warsaw (FSC-certified area: 194,960 ha)
  • Radom (FSC-certified area: 325,074 ha)
  • Piła (FSC-certified area: 362,770 ha)
  • Olsztyn (FSC-certified area: 569,017 ha)
  • Wrocław (FSC-certified area: 552,595 ha)
  • Kraków (FSC-certified area: 170,825 ha)
  • Białystok - (FSC-certified area: 572,804)
  • Lublin (FSC-certified area: 418,883 ha)
Status of FSC FM certification in Poland

Recent developments

On 29 February 2024, FSC met with representatives of the General Directorate of State Forests and Ministry of Climate and Environment in Poland to discuss the return to FSC certification.

The meeting ended by establishing a working group to elaborate solutions aimed at restoring FSC certification nationwide.  

“The meeting demonstrated the State Forests' strong commitment to sustainable forest management and openness to cooperation. I believe that there is a solid foundation to continue FSC certification in Polish forests, and after the meeting I am confident that together we can quickly achieve the desired results. For our part, we assure full commitment to further discussions”, says Director Kim Carstensen.

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Importance of FSC in Poland

The collaboration between Polish foresters and FSC has enabled many Polish companies to grow their market reach through exporting their FSC certified products to regional and international companies. Today, Polish companies are among global leaders when it comes to the production of furniture, doors, windows, panels, and other wood-based products. There are currently 2,400 FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certificates in Poland, making it one of the top countries for FSC CoC globally.

The success of FSC Poland is the result of the strong commitment of different actors including the State Forests, the timber and paper industry, as well as environmental and social NGOs.

FSC acknowledges the significant implications for certified supply in the country coupled with the existing shortages as a consequence of the Ukraine war. To address this issue, FSC is actively working alongside partners and members to develop strategic solutions to fill the supply gap.