031_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global InsightSustainable Forestry Credit: © IUCN Daniel Shaw The FSC is a “market-oriented instrument to overcome a global crisis in forest governance” we still fail to see intergovernmental processes and institutions that The demand for FSC products has been a key driver for FSC cer- truly work to ensure sustainable forest management. tification all over the world. We have seen a very significant growth In the meantime – and contrary to what many people have in demand over the past few years, and today there are 24,500 thought over the years – the FSC model of governance, involving companies that are ‘chain of custody’ certified in the FSC supply stakeholders with social, environmental or economic interests, has chain. Demand comes from consumers, whether they are corporate proved to be working for all forest types around the world. FSC has buyers or private individuals. It is clear that campaigns for forest provided a room where very different interests in forests are forced protection and sustainable management remain important drivers to get together to define and to agree on what sustainable forest of consumer awareness. management means for them. What’s the level of social benefits One of the main challenges for FSC is to grow out of being an that needs to come out of the forests? What are the most important instrument that is strongest among consumers – whether they are natural or ecosystem values? And how can we make sure that what companies, institutions or individuals – in the traditional devel- we agree also makes economic sense? oped economies in Europe and North America. FSC must become Our model is, of course, very difficult at times. It happens that truly global by becoming a well-known, attractive and preferred consensus cannot be reached, and securing agreement across very scheme for consumers in the major emerging economies. different interest groups can often take a long, long time. There are Why do we believe that we can do this? One reason is our many difficult issues requiring prolonged discussion and negotia- success over the years; another is the fact that we are not just a tions, and so we may not be the fastest operation in the world. traditional environmental label, but a coalition of stakeholders However, it often turns out that compromise is there to be found, working together – globally and locally – to try to find agreed and that anticipated disagreements are smaller than expected. And solutions that work for the environment, social actors and the it is true that when our discussions lead to agreement, this agree- economy. We provide a prospect of managing forests in ways ment is stronger and much more robust than unilateral decisions that spur social and economic development, while at the same coming from one or other interest. time protecting the environment as a common resource for fu- Our experiences are being used by other voluntary certification ture generations. schemes, notably in the fisheries sector, where schemes like the FSC was created to be a strong tool for promoting environmen- Marine Stewardship Council and the new Aquaculture Stewardship tally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable Council have learned from the successes – and also the failures – of management of the world’s forests, and that is what we are setting FSC. We are also working together and sharing experiences with a out to be, in a future of immense global change. larger group of voluntary certification schemes, including the Fair- trade movement and in the ‘ISEAL Alliance’, the global associa- tion for social and environmental standards. Kim Carstensen, Executive Director, Forest Stewardship Council globalfirst quarter 2013 www.global-briefing.org l31


Global 13
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