Why Third-Party Certification and Why FSC?
The foresters participating in The Forest Partnership believe that bringing in an outside auditor on an annual basis is a healthy way to learn and improve our management. We also believe that this provides important assurance to anyone buying wood from the lands that we manage or using products made from this wood. We are open to and interested in any certification systems that exist; including the American Tree Farm System and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. We participate and emphasize the Forest Stewardship Council because it is appears to be the most robust and rigorous system. FSC is a non-profit organization that has developed a set of standards to protect and enhance forests and all of those that depend upon the forests – from the plants and animals that live there, to the workers that steward the trees and harvest the logs, to those that turn these logs into dimensional lumber for construction, paper products, flooring, furniture, cabinets, decking, siding, and for those that heat their homes and schools with wood.
The Forest Partnership has some key principals it shares with the Forest Stewardship Council.
The Forest Partnership shall respect all applicable laws, international treaties and agreements and FSC principles and criteria.
Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined documented and legally established.
The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use, and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be recognized and respected.
Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic wellbeing of forest workers and local communities.
Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest’s multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits.
Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain the ecological functions and the integrity of the forest.
A management plan – appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operations – shall be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.
Monitoring shall be conducted — appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management — to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities, and their social and environmental impacts.
Management activities in high conservation value forests shall maintain or enhance the attributes that define such forests.
Plantations, where employed shall be planned and managed in accordance with the previously stated standards. While plantations can provide an array of social and economic benefits, and can contribute to satisfying the world’s needs for forest products, they should complement the management of, reduce pressures on, and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests.