FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

199,991,303 ha certified
38,293 CoC certificates
1,638 FM/CoC certificates

Waiting for your input …

The latest news and views from FSC, plus related forestry industry updates

Seeking Input on How to Obtain Free, Prior, and Informed Consent

Monday, 12 March 2018

During the period 2 March to 2 May 2018, we are gathering stakeholder feedback on our seven steps to obtaining free, prior, and informed consent from Indigenous Peoples, traditional peoples, and local communities living in and around FSC-certified operations.

At the heart of all FSC policies, standards, and procedures are 10 principles for responsible forest management. Free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) is a principle of international human rights with elements that fall across two FSC principles – Indigenous Peoples’ rights (Principle 3) and community relations (Principle 4).

To help strengthen relationships between forest managers and people living in and around FSC-certified forests, FSC created a guide in 2012 (FSC-GUI-30-003 V1-0) to help forest managers and FSC-accredited certification bodies put the concept of FPIC into practice. It advises that parties should engage in a mutually agreed process to reach a decision, conduct genuine and constructive negotiations, respect agreements concluded and applied in good faith, and give sufficient time for discussion and to settle collective disputes.

FPIC holds that all peoples have the right to self-determination and the right to pursue their economic, social, and cultural development freely. As reported previously, developing a regionally acceptable understanding of the right to FPIC and the right to implement an appropriate process is a significant challenge. Field tests have shown that the guidelines need to be revised in line with specific requirements in the FSC principles and criteria (P&C) version 5-2 and their corresponding international generic indicators, and to address challenges in application on the ground.

FSC invites you to read about the concepts related to free, prior, and informed consent that FSC seeks to introduce into new guidelines for members of our system, and to provide your feedback and comments.



About FSC certification

FSC certification is a system of voluntary sustainability standards that recognizes the efforts of civil society to uphold globally recognized principles related to sustainability, adaptation, justice, and corporate social responsibility within the context of forest management.


Keeping up with all the latest information about forest management and certification can be difficult. That’s why we collect it for you in our newsroom. The newsroom is where you’ll find news from FSC, as well as information about developments in the wider forestry industry. It’s also home to The Root of the Matter, the monthly blog from FSC Director General Kim Carstensen.