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Verifying the Ecosystem Services Impacts on FSC-certified Forests

Chris Henschel | 09 February 2018 |

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is looking for pioneer companies that want to join us in strengthening incentives for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, water, forest carbon and soil.

Last year I wrote this blog about new tools that FSC is developing to strengthen incentives for responsible forest management, forest conservation and forest restoration; and to deliver greater value for forest owners and communities, as well as their buyers and supporters.

After a second round of consultation in December, we have developed a final draft of our new ecosystem services procedure that we plan to launch in April of this year. The core of the procedure is a new globally applicable seven-step approach that FSC-certified forest managers can use to demonstrate the impact of their forest management activities on ecosystem services.

During pilot testing, several forests used the procedure to verify the world’s first FSC ecosystem services claims. We are seeking financial sponsorship for some of these sites that will strengthen sustainable business models for responsible forest management and the protection of valuable ecosystem services:

  • Biodiversity protection from reduced impact logging on the island of Borneo (East Kalimantan, Indonesia): An FSC-accredited certification body has verified that significantly more forest carbon was maintained in this forest, which is managed for timber production by Pt Ratah Timber, than the average across East Kalimantan. It was also verified that the abundance of birds and terrestrial mammals was unchanged by management activities.

  • Reduced impact logging and the protection of forest carbon in the Annamite Mountain Range (Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam): An FSC-accredited certification body has verified that forest carbon stocks are being maintained by the Huong Son State Forestry Company in this forest in northern Vietnam. A national moratorium on logging in natural forests has deprived Huong Son of the finances it requires to patrol and protect the forest from illegal logging.
  • Maintenance of natural forest cover in the Peruvian Amazon (Madre de Dios, Peru): An FSC-accredited certification body has verified that both natural forest cover and species diversity are being maintained through low-impact approaches and restrictions on hunting in this community-managed project.

This pioneering work by FSC presents an opportunity for select companies to be the world’s first sponsors of FSC-verified ecosystem services impacts.

FSC will work with companies and the forest managers to celebrate the sponsorship of these impacts and promote FSC’s new ecosystem services tools. We look forward to working with corporates on this new initiative to protect the services of nature upon which we all rely.

Please join us for a half-hour webinar on Tuesday 6th March at 8am PT (11am ET, 4pm GMT, 5pm CET) to learn more about the FSC program from Chris. Register here.

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