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Forest Management: The Forest Stewardship Council

1969 words - 8 pages

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction to FSC
2. Controlling Entities of the FSC
3. Benefits of FSC accreditation
4. Process of obtaining the FSC certification
5. Problems the FSC pose for South Africa
6. Bibliography

1) Introduction to FSC
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, non-profit organization which was established in 1993 by multiple stakeholders. The FSC’s primary objective is to positively influence sustainable and responsible forest management in plantations worldwide. They aim to do this by means of standard setting and certifying competent companies, organizations and individuals commercially producing wood products. (Wikipedia, 2014)
The FSC sets specific standards which influence wood-dependent entities to use their resources responsibly and sustainably. The entity’s product is then branded as FSC Certified. This certification gives consumers reassurance that their consumption of the product is not contributing to deforestation and other environmentally harmful processes which non-FSC approved products most likely would. The FSC has become the benchmark for worldwide wood product certification and has a standard to maintain. (Boehnke, DE, 2014)
Many means of regulating deforestation have been implemented in the past, but few have been successful due to economic and social repercussions. Some regulatory mechanisms include the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species, 1975, and the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1983. The FSC promotes compromise and is the most successful initiative yet. (International Tropical Timber Organization, 2004)
The FSC was founded in 1993 following the failure of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as well as the failure of governments to negotiate a legal compromise to excessive deforestation. After NGO’s such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) tried to directly influence the industry to reach an agreement, the FSC stepped in with it’s own standards and became a standard-setting entity which defined sustainably and responsibly produced wood products. The certification is a requirement to mark proper management of forest resources as well as social and economic benefits to the respective employers, employees and regions. (FSC website, 2014)

2) Controlling Entities of the FSC
The FSC consists of some of the leading businesses, NGOs, organizations, private forest owners and wood product companies. Some of these entities include Mondi and Greenpeace. This group of members set the standards called the FSC Principles and Criteria (P&C). In terms of environmentally responsible, economically feasible and socially beneficial these are the world’s highest forest management standards. These three aspects of FSC P&C are of equal and utmost importance, therefore, no single point of view is favoured. The representative members are from most regions of the earth and decision making is a joint effort. The regional diversity of members ensures that...

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