The Green Party gained power in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, and this led to the decision to certify their federal forests to FSC standards. With the recertification of 117 400 hectares of forest in North Rhine-Westphalia at the end of 2011, a total of 633 636 hectares of forest were already managed according to FSC requirements in Germany. The addition of forests in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate signifies the expansion of this area by some 447 400 hectares.
The Baden-Wuerrtemberg forest agency is aiming to achieve FSC certification by the start of 2013 and the first stakeholder meeting has already been held in July 2012.
In Rhineland-Palatinate the first 12 of a total of 45 forest districts are expected to achieve FSC certification in August or September this year under a group certification scheme. The remaining districts will also follow this approach over the next two years.
This development, which is an important milestone for FSC growth in Germany, was warmly welcomed by leading environmental NGOs and social associations. FSC certification ensures that the environmental and social aspects of forest management will receive greater attention from political decision-makers, while the public demand for responsible forest management will also be met.