Practical Information for Forests Managers

Forest managers who wish to improve their practices and implement higher standards of forest management can benefit from the following tools and initiatives.

Initiatives that Support Forest Managers
Most of these initiatives offer technical advice on how to comply with certification standards through a stepwise approach, which is a series of manageable phases. Forest managers that participate in these initiatives can also gain some marketing advantage by demonstrating that their forests are in transition towards certification, and can be distinguished from poorly or illegally managed forest.

Tools for forest managers
Various practical tools and guidance related to the implementation of sustainable forest management to improve management or to achieve certification

Special Tools and Guidance for Small Forest Enterprises
Constraints on small forest enterprises wishing to certify their forest include cost, compliance with complex standards, and access to information and advice. Group certification aims to overcome these problems by pulling together a number of small forest areas under a single ‘group manager’ who acts both as a source of information and is also able to organize a certification process which allows each individual group member to benefit from the economies of scale of being part of a larger group.

Initiatives that Supports Forest Managers

The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN)

The GFTN is WWF's initiative that aims to support forest certification and responsible wood sourcing by facilitating trade links between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry. It is an affiliation of national and regional Forest & Trade Networks (FTNs) active in nearly 30 timber producer and consumer nations in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia (see country portals above for more information on specific FTNs)

Some of the benefits of GFTN membership for forest owners and managers:

  • Information and technical assistance to improve forest management
  • Information and technical assistance to achieve credible and comprehensive certification through a Stepwise Approach
  • Market incentives for the pursuit of certification
  • Support of advocacy efforts for changes to legislation and law enforcement
  • Access to affordable, long term financing

Learn more about GFTN

Other Intiatives

Tropical Forest Trust (TFT)

TFT aims to 1) increase the area of FSC certified forest in the tropics; 2) assist members to exclude illegal and other unwanted wood from their supply chains and to get wood from TFT supported projects into their products; and 3) raise awareness of the FSC.

SmartStep (Rainforest Alliance SmartWood Program)

SmartStep is a Rainforest Alliance SmartWood program to provide opportunities and incentives for forest management operations to pursue FSC certification. It is designed to help forest management operations with a clear path to achieve Forest Certification Council (FSC) certification while gaining access to potential market benefits before reaching certification.

The Tropical Forest Foundation

The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) is a non-profit, educational institution dedicated to the conservation of tropical forests through sustainable forestry. TFF has become widely recognized for establishing demonstration models and training schools to show the advantages and teach the principles of sustainable forest management/ reduced-impact logging.

Tools for Forest Managers

Reduced-Impact Logging (RIL) 
RIL is a set of management practices that support a more responsible, sustainably managed forest by harvesting in a way that minimizes damage to streams, wildlife, and non-harvest trees while providing an economic benefit to support the local people. 

FAO Code of Practice
The FAO Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia Pacific provides guidelines that, if followed, will allow production forests to be harvested with minimal adverse impact on the forest environment. It is designed to balance commercial considerations with protection of environmental and social values.


Modular Implementation and Verification (MIV) Toolkit
The 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.

High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)
HCVF are forests of outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value. Forest managers can carry out evaluations of their forest areas to determine any HCVs present for conservation planning. HCVF assessment is a requirement of FSC certification and may also be demanded by customers, donors or investors. Learn more about HCVF and toolkit...

Special Tools and Guidance for Smallholders

Smallholders is the term used to describe those who own, manage or use forests which are considered "small" in relation to others in their region, and those who apply low intensity harvesting practices to timber and/or non-timber forest products.

FSC has a couple of programs for smallholders:

  • FSC Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests (SLIMF)
  • FSC Group Certification for smallholders.

Find out more from FSC website for smallholders.