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Certification of Tropical Forests
As the biodiversity hotspots of the world, tropical forests are vital to the existence of millions of indigenous people, and possess a unique set of social and environmental attributes.
When decisions are taken by societies, industries or communities to further explore tropical forests, it is particularly important that FSC standards are met. FSC certification can offer forest managers in the tropics financially competitive alternatives to poor practices, illegal logging, and land conversion for cattle ranching or biofuel production.
Eighteen million hectares of tropical and subtropical forest are FSC certified, representing 13 percent of the total global area certified to the FSC Principles and Criteria. However, the number of certificates paints a different picture: one in four certificates lies in the tropics. The top three countries with the highest total area are Brazil, Bolivia and the Republic of Congo.
In the Republic of Congo, Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), is a good example of sustainable forest management in their pursuit of FSC certification. The development of new techniques for consultation, conflict resolution and benefit sharing has broken communication and cultural barriers with indigenous peoples living in the 1.3 million hectares of this large FSC certified forest management unit covers, including by using modern, adapted, satellite communication tools.