Forest Management Certification

FSC forest management certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability.

Click here to learn how your forest can become FSC-certified!

Forest manager
Forest manager

FSC Principles and Criteria

There are ten principles that any forest operation must adhere to before it can receive FSC forest management certification. These principles cover a broad range of issues, from maintaining high conservation values to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring the environmental and social impacts of the forest management.

FSC also provides a number of criteria relating to each principle to provide practical ways of working out whether they are being followed.

Our principles have been developed to be applicable worldwide and relevant to all kinds of forest ecosystems, as well as a wide range of cultural, political and legal settings.

Forest managers workers

Forest management standards

FSC principles and criteria are incorporated into FSC forest management standards. Chamber-balanced standard development groups (SDG) adapt the International Generic Indicators at the regional or national level to reflect the diverse legal, social and geographical conditions of forests in different parts of the world. The resulting adjustment is incorporated into a National Forest Stewardship Standard.

A valid National (or Interim) Forest Stewardship Standard is a first step to an FSC-certified forest.

Have a look at forest management standards developed for the countries of the Adria-Balkan Region!

Deer in Slovenia
Marjan Artnak

High conservation values

Various biological, ecological, social or cultural values of outstanding significance are known as high conservation values (HCVs). In an FSC-certified forest they must be specially identified, assessed, managed and monitored. There are 6 types of HCVs:

1) Species diversity
2) Landscape-level ecosystems and mosaics
3) Ecosystems and habitats
4) Critical ecosystem services
5) Community needs
6) Cultural values

Hands river water

Ecosystem services verification

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from nature. In FSC-certified forests, valuable ecosystem services are protected – and in 2018, FSC introduced a procedure to demonstrate and communicate about the positive impact of responsible forest management on ecosystem services.

These verified positive impacts aim to facilitate payments for ecosystem services and provide access to other benefits, thereby adding business value for those who responsibly manage forests and those who take action to preserve forest ecosystem services.

Forest manager

Group & SLIMF certification

FSC certificate holders can also join together to form a group certification scheme and share their efforts for forest management planning, harvesting, monitoring and marketing their products. Group certification makes it easier, particularly for smallholders, to become FSC certified, as it enables group members to share costs and workload for applying and maintaining an FSC certificate.

Small or low-intensity managed forests (SLIMF) are eligible for streamlined requirements and auditing procedures that reduce the costs and efforts of the certification.

Forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bruno Marić

Steps towards FM certification

To become holders of FSC FM certification, forest management companies must comply with the requirements of one or more applicable FM standards defined by the FSC.

Follow the suggested 6 steps and join other forest management companies that are already responsibly managing over 5 million ha of forest area across the Adria-Balkan Region.