Sound Forest Management | WWF

Sound Forest Management

According to FAO, Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) is defined as the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.

WWF believes that responsibly managed forests are necessary for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems services, both on individual sites and within the wider landscape. Forest management, including intensive commercial management, can be a critical and cost-effective conservation tool within larger-scale conservation strategies. Well-managed commercial or community forests can for example provide vital buffers for and links between protected areas.

Certification: The Benchmark for Sound Forest Management

The benchmark for sound forest management is independently-verified and credible forest certification. Certification standards provide a checklist of issues to be addressed in the pursuit of sustainable forest management. Certification also provides a means of verifying the achievement of sound forest management and credibly communicating this to employees, customers, investors, local communities, NGOs and regulators. Learn more about certification.


Dipterocarp rainforest in Taman Negara National Park. Peninsula Malaysia. 
	© WWF / Gerald S. CUBITT
Dipterocarp rainforest in Taman Negara National Park. Peninsula Malaysia.
© WWF / Gerald S. CUBITT

The Stepwise Approach

The process to achieve full compliance in forest certification can be long and complicated. It is often resource intensive and overwhelming for forest managers. A stepwise approach divides the tasks into a series of manageable phases. Such an approach will facilitate assessment of progress towards certification and at the same time provides a way to differentiate products from forests in transition towards certification to those from poorly or illegally managed forests.

The Modular Implementation and Verification (MIV) Toolkit developed by Proforest is a toolkit for the phased application of forest management standards and certification. The toolkit contains a series of discrete modules that a forest manager can address separately, and so make the stepwise progress to the level of performance required by the standard. Progress can also be verified and communicated module by module.

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