FSC: celebrating 10 years of responsible forest management | WWF

FSC: celebrating 10 years of responsible forest management

Posted on 10 September 2004
FSC logo on timber from a certified UK forest.
© WWF / Edward Parker
Bonn, Germany - Conceived by environmental activists, social groups, and progressive businesses as a way to move from confrontation to consultation over forest management practices, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) today celebrates its 10th anniversary in Bonn, Germany.

"In its first decade, FSC has shown that there is a business case for sustainable forestry," said Claude Martin, Director General of WWF International, at celebrations in Bonn. "By creating a mechanism that gives equal weight to social, environmental, and economic interests, FSC has provided a solution that uses the market to encourage responsible forests management. In the future, we need to also strengthen FSC in the most threatened forests to keep them for future generations." 

Formally established in 1994, the FSC is today a global network whose mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Over 45 million hectares of forests in 62 countries have been FSC certified in the last 10 years, and the FSC trademark allows consumers to identitfy over 20,000 forest products derived from these responsibly managed forests.

"We are fighting against forest destruction and therefore supporting all efforts for certification of timber. FSC has achieved remarkable results within the last 10 years. Our common goal is to save the forests of the earth in the interest of the people, the environment, and the climate," said Renate Künast, German Minister for Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture.
Chairman of the FSC Board of Directors, David Nahwegahbow, pointed out that over the past 10 years, FSC had broken new ground by bringing people involved in forests together.

"The next 10 years will be about moving from youthful enthusiasm to a mature and systematic global network achieving its mission of promoting responsible management of the world’s forests," he added. "We need to move FSC from a market niche to position FSC trademarks as a mainstream it the forest market, ensuring not just economic benefits but also stronger social and environmental benefits where there are needed." 
Over 250 representatives from the social, environmental, and economic sectors promoting responsible forest management have joined celebrations in Bonn. Over the next three days, FSC supporters from around the world will discuss and define the next 10 years of FSC.
The conference was opened today by German Minister for Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture, Renate Künast; the Mayor of the City of Bonn, Bärbel Dieckman; Director General of WWF International, Claude Martin; Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Kingfisher Group, Alan Knight; National Forest Programme Director of Brazil, Tasso Rezende de Azevedo; and other distinguished speakers. Heiko Liedeker, FSC Executive Director, thanked the German government and the City of Bonn for their support in establishing the FSC International Centre in Bonn last year. 

The FSC is an independent, not-for-profit, non-government organization based in Bonn, Germany, providing standard setting, trademark assurance, and accreditation services for companies and organizations interested in responsible forestry. It was created in 1994 by environmental organizations such as WWF, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace; indigenous forest dwellers; professional foresters; big retailers such as Sweden’s IKEA and the UK’s B&Q; and large and small forest companies. 

The FSC forest management standards are based on ten principles and criteria for responsible forest management. FSC also provides chain-of-custody standards for manufacturers and processors of forest products. These standards allow credible tracking of certified wood and wood products from certified forests through trade and manufacturing to committed retailers and consumers.
Over the past 10 years, 46 million hectares in 62 countries have been certified according to FSC standards, while several thousand products are produced using FSC-certified wood and carrying the FSC trademark. Major retailers in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia ask for FSC certification when ordering forest products so they can assure their customers about the origin of the products they are buying.

FSC operates through a network of National Initiatives in more than 30 countries. Its governance structure ensures that the FSC is independent of any one interest group by requiring an equal balance in power between its environmental, social, and economic chambers, as well as a balance between interests from the economic north and south. 

For further information:
Zandra Martinez 
Communications Officer, FSC International Centre
Tel: +49 228 367 6619
E-mail: z.martinez@fsc.org