Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC, yesterday told the ‘3rd International Congress on Planted Forests’ that planted forests “have the potential to be environmentally and socially beneficial”. In his address to the Panel on Ecosystem Services of Planted Forests, he stressed that “planted forests do not in themselves guarantee high enough levels of environmental and social benefits” but can do so “if they are managed with these objectives in mind”.
He also stated “FSC certification is one of the best available tools to make sure that happens”. The Panel discussions showed that stakeholders in countries all over the world agree that FSC certification is an important tool for ensuring that planted forests provide environmental and social benefits.
Good examples were provided from Brazil, Chile, Portugal and South Africa, among others. Participants explained how FSC certified planted forests have ensured environmental benefits such as improved water management, watershed protection and wildlife corridors, and social benefits including jobs, better working conditions for plantation workers, and improved access to natural resources for local communities.
Carstensen emphasised the importance of involving local stakeholders, both social and environmental, in discussions about the local benefits from planted forests. Planted forests are often controversial, particularly if they are monocultures covering large areas that are outside the control of local stakeholders. FSC certification is a valuable tool for ensuring the engagement of local stakeholders and giving them a forum to express the environmental and social benefits they want and need from planted forests.
The 3rd International Congress on Planted Forests, 16–21 May 2013
The 3rd International Congress on Planted Forests, held in Lisbon, Portugal, aimed to investigate the contribution of planted forests to sustainable development in the context of global changes. Topics included the sustainability of planted forests in the context of changing climates and the future role of planted forests in environmental protection and REDD+ schemes.
For more information, visit http://www.efiatlantic.efi.int/portal/2013_icpf/