FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993. Its role is to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving this are standard setting, independent certification and labeling of forest products. This offers customers, globally the ability to choose products from socially and environmentally responsible forestry.
The FSC was established as a response to concerns over the state of the world's forests. Half of the world’s forests have already been altered, degraded, destroyed or converted for other land uses. Despite aid-funded programs and forest legislation, these efforts have proved insufficient to reduce forest loss or forest degradation. Much of todays remaining forests suffer from illegal exploitation and otherwise poor management. As such the need to substantially improve forest management practices persists.
The FSC is the first worldwide certification system established for forests and forest products. This voluntary market driven mechanism can be regarded as one of the most important initiatives of the last decade/1990's to promote better forest management.
Forest management according to the FSC’s internationally recognized standards, delivers environmental services to local and global communities. This includes clean air and water, and contributes to mitigating impacts of climate change. The FSC directly or indirectly addresses issues such as illegal logging, deforestation and global warming and has positive impacts on economic development, environmental conservation, poverty alleviation and social and political empowerment.
The FSC is an international association of members. It is a platform for forest owners, timber industries, social groups and environmental organizations to come together to find solutions to improve forest management practices. The FSC works to ensure the permanent existence of forest areas through responsible forest management and conservation.
The FSC, as being a market driven mechanism, empowers consumers to express their demand in the market for responsible forestry by offering an independent, global and credible label for forest products. According to Greenpeace, consumers can choose forest products with the confidence that they are not contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests. Moreover, the idea of the FSC logo is to guarantee that the product comes from responsible sources - environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable. The FSC label can be found on a wide range of timber and non-timber products from paper and furniture to medicine and jewelry.
For more information and an indepth look please refer to the official FSC website http://www.fsc.org/en/