STUDY Question 56:
Are there acceptable methods to verify that a forest
is sustainably managed?
number of third-party certification programs exist to
verify forest management methods. In the United States,
standards for forest management include the American
Forest & Paper Association's Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). At present,
FSC is more broadly accepted among environmental groups,
while SFI is evolving in ways that may improve its acceptance
among those groups. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager,
Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense
STUDY: Some responses reference the Sustainable Forestry
Initiative (SFI) as a credible way to verify sustainability.
addition to its participation in the Sustainable Forestry
Initiative (SFI), Boise expanded its forest stewardship
program in 1999 to include an additional, comprehensive
set of forest management objectives entitled Boise Forest
Stewardship Values and Measures. Boise incorporates
compliance with the Forest Stewardship Values and Measures
and SFI standards into all of our forest management
plans and programs. Boise retained PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP, an internationally known business services firm,
to provide a series of third-party forest management
audits assessing Boise's implementation of and compliance
with SFI and our own standards. Boise's certification
program has two unique features. First, our customers
are invited to accompany the independent audit teams
into the forests to observe their work. Second, Boise
has also established a Forest Stewardship Advisory Council
of nationally known conservation experts who participate
with Boise foresters in reviewing audit results and
recommending changes. - Boise
Natural Resources Council of Maine is working to promote
voluntary, third party forest audits that will ensure
Maine's forests are managed so that they protect the
timber supply, ecological health of the forest and economic
health of our communities. The independent Forest Stewardship
Council in the ONLY audit and certification program
currently available that the public can trust. The industry-controlled
alternative is like letting the fox guard the chicken
coop. - The
Natural Resources Council of Maine
party certification of a recognized sustainability standard
such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is
a good way to verify sustainable forests and harvests.
- International Paper
Pacific's Wood and Fiber Procurement Environmental Strategy
addresses several key areas including harvesting practices,
wildlife habitat, private landowner leadership, public
land management and facility management. Georgia-Pacific
foresters demonstrate Sustainable Forestry in Action
through third-party verification of wood procurement
practices under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative
(SFI). - Georgia
STUDY: Other responses indicate that the Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC) provides a reliable method of verifying
Basic monitoring of forest resource conditions can be
used to determine whether forests are managed per my
definition of "sustainable forestry".
Currently, the best system
for determining if commercial forests are "well-managed"
is the independent certification system of the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is the only forest
certification system in the US that:
- Is governed at all levels by an equal balance of environmental,
social, and economic interests.
- Is consistently and sufficiently independent from
the companies being certified.
- Has a primary emphasis on performance standards for
"on-the-ground" outcomes, vs. open-ended "system-based"
- Explicitly addresses a broad range of environmental,
social, and economic concerns.
- Prohibits conversion of natural forests to ecologically-impoverished
- Requires protection measures for old growth forests.
- Requires management for other natural forest attributes
and ecosystem function at meaningful levels.
- Requires consistent chain-of-custody monitoring system
to track certified products from the forest to point
- Daniel Hall, Forest Biodiversity Program Director,
American Lands Alliance
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a scheme which issues
certificates for well-managed forests and was created
to provide the means for corporate buyers and the public
to identify products coming from responsible forest
management, with the aim to create the economic incentives
for wider application in the market place.
forest management such as that required by the FSC,
seeks to ensure that the ecosystem of the forest is
not damaged and only low volumes of trees are extracted.
The impacts on the plant and animal life in the forest
from this method of logging are minimal. Greenpeace
is a founding member of the FSC and is active in its
development at both the international, national and
regional levels. - Greenpeace
systems that verify management to the above (sustainable
forest management) definition. So far only the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) meets all three parts of the
definition. - Robert R. Bryan, Forest Ecologist,
consider Silva Forest Foundation's certification standards
to be acceptable, as well as some national and regional
standards developed under the Forest Stewardship Council
system. - Susan Hammond, Executive Director, Silva
destroys forests when practices such as clearcutting
large areas, removing too many large or old trees, building
roads, and polluting streams damage a forest ecosystem
to the point where it can no longer regenerate itself.
But the use of sustainable forestry practices can ensure
that an ecosystem remains intact and can be logged periodically
for years to come. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
uses input from environmental, science, and business
interests to determine sustainable logging practices
for different forest areas based on each ecosystem's
The FSC system sets rigorous
standards based on environmental, social, and economic
criteria, and independent third-party auditors evaluate
forests based on these standards. Products that come
from forests that receive FSC certification are allowed
to bear the FSC symbol so that consumers can identify
the products as having come from well-managed forests.
You can show your support for sustainable forestry practices
by purchasing items - from furniture to musical instruments
- that bear the FSC logo. - Co-op America 2001
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) process is necessary
but not sufficient. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America
STUDY: Other responses do not reference a specific standard
and indicators provide a means to measure, assess, monitor
and demonstrate progress towards achieving sustainability
of forest management in a given country or in a specified
forest area over a period of time. Certification, on
the other hand, is an instrument used to confirm the
achievement of certain predefined minimum standards
of forest management in a given forest area at a given
point in time.
One way of demonstrating
that a particular forest is being managed sustainably
for wood production purposes is through the act of third-party
certification. A number of international, regional and
national forest certification schemes now exist. - Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2000
party certification to a credible forest certification
standard can be a tool to verify that a forest is sustainably
managed. - Stora Enso
but they vary with those doing the "accepting." Moreover,
given how much is not known about ecological integrity,
verification methods must be conservative. - Michael
STUDY: Some researchers are studying and comparing the
effects of different certification schemes.
Plans Forest Certification Field Tests: UPM has announced
it will begin parallel certification field testing of
forest certification schemes in three different countries
this summer: Finland, the U.K. and Canada. Testing will
be done on company owned and managed land between national
schemes and international PEFC and FSC schemes. WWF
International will act as an observer in the project.
The results of the test
will open an opportunity to improve different national
certification standards and to get them accepted by
a broad base of stakeholders. With this initiative,
UPM wants to promote the increase of certified fibre
globally. Based on these test results, UPM will further
develop its worldwide forestry and wood sourcing practices
and promote the development of credible certification
schemes in the countries it operates.
"Through parallel certification
field testing we can evaluate the benefits of different
schemes," says Jaakko Sarantola, senior vice president,
Forestry and Wood Sourcing. "At the moment there is
strong competition between the schemes and this has
caused confusion in the international market. Testing
will tell of our willingness for continuous improvement
and at the same time will provide an opportunity to
compare the different schemes equally."
"WWF welcomes this initiative.
Together with the recently announced other ongoing assessments
of certification systems at national level in Europe,
the results of this test will form a solid basis for
defining thresholds for credible certification which
are understandable by all stakeholders in the certification
debate. We are particularly keen on this initiative,
which will allow us to learn and develop the certification
processes further," says Duncan Pollard, the Head of
the European Forest programme at WWF International.
In Finland and the U.K.,
the testing will be carried out on company owned land,
which is currently certified to national forest standards
(FFCS and UKWAS). In Canada, the testing will be carried
out on provincially owned forests managed by the company.
The Canadian forests are certified according to the
North American SFI scheme. In all countries the comparisons
will be made with PEFC and FSC, and in Finland with
both the Swedish FSC and draft Finnish FSC.
There are currently more
than 50 different certification schemes worldwide, but
only less than 5% of world's forest resources are certified.
UPM is committed to several national and international
certification schemes through its own guidelines. UPM
strongly supports the mutual recognition of forest certification
schemes that have comparable standards for sustainable
forest management. UPM sees that forest certification
is one tool to confirm that the fibre used in its products
comes from well and sustainably managed forests. - UPM
press release, reported on Paperloop.com,
June 23, 2004