The FSC Ecosystem Services Programme

Ali Mudin, a father of three, is the head of a farmers group on Mount Rinjani, Lombok Island, Indonesia. – Ali knows that forests are much more than just trees and timber – they are reservoirs for clean drinking water, home to an abundance of wildlife, and produce food and medicines for his community. (© FSC GD/Vlad Sokhin)© FSC GD/Vlad SokhinThe overall goal of the FSC Ecosystem Services Programme is to develop new tools for certificate holders to access emerging markets for ecosystem services. These tools will be designed to strengthen incentives for responsible forest management, forest protection, and forest restoration; and to deliver greater value for certificate holders, forest communities, and other actors along the supply chain.

Programme activities

In 2011, FSC – in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme – launched a five-year pilot project, Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES). ForCES aims to adapt FSC standards to emerging ecosystem services markets.

As a central component of this adaptation, FSC is now developing a new procedural document, Demonstrating the Impact of Forest Stewardship on Ecosystem Services (FSC-PRO-30-002). This will describe how to measure the positive impact that FSC certification has on ecosystem services.

FSC is also carrying out market research into the link between the positive environmental impacts of FSC certification – for instance, on biodiversity or soil conservation – and market demand for ecosystem services.

Based on this market research new promotional claims will be available to FSC-certified forest managers who not only comply with the FSC Principles and Criteria – which since 2012 have specifically referred to the maintenance, conservation and restoration of ecosystem services – but also with additional requirements for ecosystem services specified in Annex C of the international generic indicators.

FSC is also exploring innovative ways to reward forest managers directly for protecting ecosystem services.

FSC is testing the applicability and market potential of its new tools for ecosystem services markets through ForCES.

Contact us

For more information on the FSC Ecosystem Services Programme, please contact Chris Henschel ( c.henschel at fsc point org), Rosario Galán ( r.galan at fsc point org), or Mauro Ciriminna ( m.ciriminna at fsc point org).

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