Understanding how FSC makes decisions
FSC is governed by its members. All our members have equal say in the development of our standards, policies, and procedures – helping shape the future of forest management together.
There are two types of FSC members: organizational members (such as forestry companies, environmental groups, and retailers) and individual members (such as academics, students, and activists).
In order to become a member, you need to apply to join one of the three FSC chambers – environmental, social, and economic (find out how to become an FSC member here). These three chambers are further sub-divided into northern and southern sub-chambers, depending on which hemisphere you’re in.
We are a democratic, consensus-seeking organization, with a balanced voting structure to ensure that all voices are heard. So when it comes to creating change, each of our three chambers holds 33.3 per cent of the vote on all FSC matters, ensuring that our system remains balanced.
Within each chamber, votes are weighted to ensure that north and south each hold 50 per cent of the vote. What’s more, the votes of organizational members are weighted to reflect the fact that organizational members represent more people than individual members.
To choose the organizational direction of FSC, there are three levels of decision-making: the general assembly, the FSC Board of Directors, and the Director General.
The general assembly of members, held every three years, is the top FSC platform for decision-making. Motions are submitted by our members and are then discussed and voted on by all attendees. Attendees are divided into the three FSC chambers and each chamber is equally weighted between north and south sub-chambers.
The FSC Board of Directors is accountable to all members. It consists of twelve elected representatives, with four elected from each of the chambers for a four-year term.
The Director General leads the organization from the FSC International Center in Bonn, Germany, and is responsible for running FSC on a day-to-day basis.