As defined by FSC, “Forest certification is the process of evaluating forests or woodlands to determine if they are being managed according to an agreed set of standards”. A certification is a verifying tool, that involves verification of forest/products to ensure that management, production, and processing meet specific standards.
It aims to encourage sustainable forest management/sustainable NTFPs management. Standards are developed on the basis of social, environmental, and economical components. A third party acts as a verifier and provides the written assurance that the forest has been managed/product has been produced according to the predetermined standards.
Certification bodies are accredited to Assurance Services International
The main characteristic of forest certification
- Market-driven approach
- Technical consistent
Also Read: Marketing Issues of NTFPs
Importance of Certification
- It’s a tool that helps to improve the forest management system.
- Support forestry sector development.
- Help Promoting Sustainable Forest Management.
- Tool for market access- opening of the new market.
- Forest owners receive more benefits.
- Improve/upgrade enterprise image and ethics.
- Product quality control.
- Improve transparency.
- Ensures community participation, and indigenous rights.
- Environmental benefits: Biodiversity conservation, Reduce greenhouse gases, Ensure soil conservation and water conservation, etc.
Forest /NTFPs Certification
The FSC has developed 10 principles and 56 criteria for forest management certification and NTFPs certification. FSC has approved global NTFP certification standards developed by Nature Economy and People Connected (NEPCon). FSC principles describe how forests can be managed to meet the social, economic, and environmental needs of present and future generations.
FSC 10 principles are:
Principle 1: Compliance with laws and FSC Principles – to comply with all laws, regulations, treaties, conventions, and agreements, together with all FSC Principles and Criteria.
Principle 2: Tenure and use rights and responsibilities – to define, document, and legally establish long-term tenure and use rights.
Principle 3: Indigenous peoples’ rights – to identify and uphold indigenous peoples’ rights of ownership and use of land and resources.
Principle 4: Community relations and worker’s rights – to maintain or enhance forest workers’ and local communities’ social and economic well-being.
Principle 5: Benefits from the forest – to maintain or enhance long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits from the forest.
Principle 6: Environmental impact – to maintain or restore the ecosystem, its biodiversity, resources, and landscapes.
Principle 7: Management plan – to have a management plan, implemented, monitored, and documented.
Principle 8: Monitoring and assessment – to demonstrate progress towards management objectives.
Principle 9: Maintenance of high conservation value forests – to maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests.
Principle 10: Plantations – to plan and manage plantations in accordance with FSC Principles and Criteria.
FSC certified products: examples
Brazil- Brazil nut, rubber
Nepal-Hand made paper
Organic certification: essential oil