FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

198,702,134 ha certified
37,398 CoC certificates
1,620 FM/CoC certificates

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Recommended readings

Below are research papers, reports and other literature on impacts, outcomes and effects of FSC certification organized by categories:

FSC’s History and mission:

  • Synnott T. The Early Years of FSC.
    Personal notes of a founding member and the first FSC Executive Director about the genesis of FSC.
  • Bernstein S. and Cashore B. 2004. Non-state global governance: is forest certification a legitimate alternative to a global forest convention? Hard Choices, Soft Law: Voluntary Standards In Global Trade, Environment, And Social Governance.
    These international experts on global environmental governance analysis the legitimacy and viability of non-state environmental governance. They argue that the FSC, presented as the most prominent example of transnational certification scheme, meets international legitimacy requirements.

General/ multiple aspects:

Environmental aspects:

Social aspects:

  • Tsanga R. et al. 2014. What is the role for forest certification in improving relationships between logging companies and communities?: Lessons from FSC in Cameroon. International Forestry Review. 16,14-22.
    The paper examines the social impact of FSC certification with a special focus on participation of the local population. This is done by evaluating the relationship of six logging companies in FSC-certified concessions in Cameroon with the local communities. A positive impact of FSC certification is found by fostering multi-stakeholder platforms for better communication and conflict solution. What is still to be improved is a fairer balance of power for a communication between equals.
  • Cerutti P. et al. 2014. Social impacts of the Forest Stewardship Council certification: an assessment in the Congo basin. Occasional Paper 103. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia.
    The CIFOR team compared living and working conditions in certified and uncertified forests. They conclude that FSC certification is associated with better working and living conditions, allows the development of active local institutions that foster dialogue between the company and local communities, and that of benefit sharing mechanisms.
  • Acharya R. P. et al. 2015. Governance in Community Forestry in Nepal Through Forest Certification. International Forestry Review. 17, 1-9.
    In this study of two FSC-certified community forest user groups in Nepal, the authors found a number of positive changes associated with certification such as; improved operational planning (incl. identification and management of major biodiversity threats), enhanced knowledge of sustainable forest management, increased funds available for livelihood programs fostering NTFP-based enterprise development and enhanced dialogue between communities, government, industry and donors.  
  • Kalonga S. et al. 2017. Does forest certification enhance livelihood conditions? Empirical evidence from forest management in Kilwa District, Tanzania. Forest Policy and Economics, 74, 49-61.
    The authors compare livelihood conditions in FSC certified and uncertified community-forests in Tanzania. Results show that in FSC-certified forests annual average household forest income is higher and that implementation of forest bylaws (a proxy for governance) is more effective than in uncertified forests. They conclude that FSC certification enhances livelihood conditions.  

Economic aspects:

Systemic, spill-over effects:

  • Tysiachniouk M. and Henry L. A. 2015. Managed citizenship: global forest governance and democracy in Russian communities. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 22(6), 476-89. 
    The authors used long-term qualitative data from case studies in Russia to argue that a spill-over effect of FSC certification is the development of “managed citizenship”, defined as a type of citizenship in which local populations gain more power and get involved in long-term democratic, participatory governance.
  • Savilaakso S. et al. 2017. Timber certification as a catalyst for change in forest governance in Cameroon, Indonesia, and Peru. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 13(1), 116-133.
    This study investigates how the governance regime in Cameroon, Indonesia and Peru has been influenced by FSC certification. It shows that all stages of policy process (agenda setting and negotiation; implementation, and monitoring and enforcement) have been influenced, in addition to forest management practices concerning social and environmental issues.

The FSC M&E Manager welcomes the submission of any research papers related to FSC certification and processes. Please contact m.karmann@fsc.org.