Government activities to promote Forest Certification
- Develop and enforce appropriate policies and regulations for responsible forest management and guarantee efficient and effective controls; create favorable conditions for robust and balanced multi-stakeholder-based forest certification schemes such as FSC (e.g. Brazil, Guatemala and South Africa), including tax incentives for certificate holders (e.g. Peru).
- Support responsible forest management practice through education and training; support development of curricula to help people understand the value of healthy forests and a green economy; and training in processes of voluntary certification based on participatory processes.
- Where forests are public, seek FSC certification of these forests and demonstrate responsible management including stakeholder engagement.
- Actively support and encourage FSC oriented multi-stakeholder decision-making processes to achieve FSC Forest Management certification of private and community forests.
- Promote and support assistance to forest management certification processes by social development organisations, in particular in tropical and sub-tropical countries.
- Inform and mobilize consumers to differentiate between products based on social and environmental impact, and to understand that forest products from questionable origin contribute to irresponsible forest management practices such as overharvesting, degradation, illegal activities, and violation of workers’ rights.
- Identify credible certification schemes that will win consumer approval in public procurement policies.
- Practice green public procurement, on the basis of robust criteria, and support a large, reliable market for certified products, including setting of progressive targets.
Examples of Forest Certification Government Support
Peruvian forest law supports forest certification by reducing the payment of annual forest harvesting fees for companies with a forest concession. Further, the law promotes certification as a mechanism for timber traceability by the government.
The Flemish Regional Government (Belgium) has given grants ranging from 47.500 to 130.000 Euro for short term (1-3 year) projects to support local communities in South America. The grants will help the communities organise themselves to achieve group certification of their forests and coordinate access to markets for certified wood and wood products (nuts and woodcarving, for instance). One project is pecifically targeted to restore degraded forests. The government in all cases works through domestic, often local, NGOs.
The Forest Sector Development in Vietnam is a six-year project co-sponsored by the governments of Vietnam, Finland, Netherlands and the World Bank. Focused on family forest owners (owners of plots smaller than 66.000ha) it promotes forest certification by setting up village funds in order to finance consulting services to carry out certification pre-assessment and assessment, as well as periodic surveillance audits, training for local staff in auditing of certification standards, market promotion of the certified products for export, and development and maintenance of a databank of ertified forests.
European Governments, including UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, have green public procurement policies where they encourage authorities to buy certified products.
The German Ministry for Corporation and Development (BMZ) provided funds to FSC to promote sustainable forest management. These funds helped to establish a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project that strengthened FSC’s presence in the Amazon region, the Congo Basin and China by overcoming the economic and structural shortcomings of FSC’s National Representatives in the country.
In Kosovo the USAID program supported Certification, by providing funds for the development of the Kosovan FSC Forest Stewardship Standard