FSC PRINCIPLES & CRITERIA
Defining best practice in global forest management
FSC was born out of a desire to make forest management environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable for the long term.
One of its first acts was to develop a set of rules – the first of its kind in forest management – that would define best practice and help forest owners and managers anywhere in the world work towards that goal in the same way. These are the FSC Principles & Criteria (FSC P&C).
There are ten principles that any forest operation must adhere to before it can receive FSC forest management certification. These principles cover a broad range of issues, from environmental impact to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring and assessment. FSC also provides a number of criteria relating to each principle to provide practical ways of working out whether they are being followed.
Our principles have been developed to be applicable worldwide and relevant to different kinds of forest area and ecosystem, as well as cultural, political, and legal systems. To help forest managers and owners and certification bodies interpret the latest FSC P&C (which was approved in 2015) for their region, we developed the International Generic Indicators (IGIs).
In many countries, FSC standard development groups have developed national forest stewardship standards to interpret the principles and criteria specific to their national context. (View your country’s national standards.)
Read the ten principles, or download the Principles & Criteria document to read them in full.