FSC International – Forests for All Forever

Facts & Figures

199,966,517 ha certified
38,542 CoC certificates
1,638 FM/CoC certificates

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Creating incentives for the preservation of ecosystem services

Ecosystem services (water, carbon, biodiversity, soil, and recreational services) are the benefits that we obtain from nature. They provide society with a wide range of benefits from reliable flows of clean water to productive soil and carbon sequestration.


FSC has been taking care of the world’s forests for over two decades, helping to ensure that forests and their ecosystem services are responsibly managed. Building on existing world-renowned certification, we are developing new tools that will show businesses, investors, and governments that these natural benefits are being preserved, and will reward participating FSC certificate holders for doing so.


FSC-certified forest management already requires the protection of ecosystem services. The new tools that we are developing can be used by businesses and governments to demonstrate the impact their purchases, payments, and investments have on preserving ecosystem services.

As rates of deforestation increase globally, FSC is developing tools to promote ecosystem services payments. These are an alternative incentive model to the short-term economic benefits of forest degradation for those not yet FSC certified, and an added economic support for FSC certificate holders already managing their forests responsibly.


The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure provides new tools to strengthen incentives for the protection of ecosystem services:

  1. Impact verification: The new FSC ecosystem services procedure provides a global approach that FSC certificate holders can use to demonstrate the impact of their forest management activities on ecosystem services.
  2. Ecosystem Services Claims: Verified impacts give rise to FSC ecosystem services claims, which will provide governments, investors, buyers, and businesses with assurance that the impacts they are paying for do preserve ecosystem services.


In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, FSC launched the five-year Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project in 2011 as an incentive for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests. The aim of the project is to adapt FSC standards to emerging ecosystem services markets and target ecosystem services with present or future market potential. The ForCES project was implemented and tested in several pilot sites, specifically in the following countries: ChileIndonesiaNepal and Vietnam. The ForCES project finalized in 2017. You can read the final report here, and the executive summary of the final report here.

Contact Information 

For more information on helping promote FSC ecosystem services tools, or to support or invest in ecosystem services on FSC-certified forests, please contact the FSC Ecosystem Services team at ecosystemservices@fsc.org

To read the story about the launch of the Ecosystem Services Procedure, click here.

Read the Ecosystem Services Procedure


Uses of the FSC ecosystem services claims: The figure shows the four different uses of the FSC ecosystem services claims. Promotions can be made by the forest manager to attract funds, payments, and investments. Financial sponsors and buyers may in turn make promotions to generate business value. The Ecosystem Services Certification Document provides transparency.


  • FSC Ecosystem Services Strategy
    FSC Ecosystem Services Strategy
  • ForCES Report
    ForCES Report
  • ForCES Report Executive Summary
    ForCES Report Executive Summary
  • FSC Ecosystem Services factsheet 04-2018
    FSC Ecosystem Services factsheet 04-2018
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on CAB requirements for ecosystem services (Part V FSC-PRO-30-006)
    Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on CAB requirements for ecosystem services (Part V FSC-PRO-30-006)
  • FSC-GUI-30-006 (V1-0) Guidance for Demonstrating Ecosystem Services Impacts
    FSC-GUI-30-006 (V1-0) Guidance for Demonstrating Ecosystem Services Impacts