The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) shall promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
Environmentally appropriate forest management ensures that the harvest of timber and non-timber products maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes.
Socially beneficial forest management helps both local people and society at large to enjoy long term benefits and also provides strong incentives to local people to sustain the forest resources and adhere to long-term management plans.
Economically viable forest management means that forest operations are structured and managed so as to be sufficiently profitable, without generating financial profit at the expense of the forest resources, the ecosystem or affected communities. The tension between the need to generate adequate financial returns and the principles of responsible forest operations can be reduced through efforts to market forest products for their best value.
FSC has been recognized as an international organization that provides a system for different stakeholders interested in forest issues to work towards responsible forest management.
Through the FSC system, the forest owners, managers, forest product manufacturers, local communities, non-governmental organizations and other interest groups are given equal access, voice and vote to a mechanism that is:
# Inclusive (this will include empowering groups in forest area)
FSC can provide aditional benefits, including:
* International recognition that the forest management does not put the forest´s natural heritage at risk and that the management activities efforts are appropriate.
* The opportunity to find new markets for FSC labeled products, thus acquiring market recognition for responsible forest management.
* The opportunity for interaction and cooperation among the various players involved in responsible forest management – forest owners, social and environmental organizations – to solve the problems that forests face.
* The assurance for future generations that they will enjoy the benefits of the forest.
* The assurance that forest management practices are responsible and will be further improved.
* The assurance that ownership rights are respected.
* The assurance that wood harvesting is legal.
* The assurance that the rights of workers and indigenous communities are respected.
* The assurance that areas of natural wealth and endangered wildlife habitat are not being negatively affected.
* The opportunity to use the FSC trademark on products to demonstrate that they come from legal and well managed sources.
* The possibility of new markets for products produced as FSC.
* The possibility of benefiting from local, national or international government support for responsible forest management.
FSC’s services provide a market-driven mechanism to improve forest management worldwide:
International standards that reflect agreed principles for responsible forest management
The FSC International Center develops international policies and standards. It also provides the framework for the development of policies and standards throughout the FSC network. This framework ensures consistency in all FSC national and regional policies and standards.
An accreditation/certification system that monitors adherence to FSC standards
As part of its accreditation business program, FSC accredits certification bodies, National Initiatives and national/sub-national standards.
A product labelling system that rewards responsible forest managers
The FSC International Center provides the international framework to market and promote FSC with the support of the Regional Offices, National Initiatives, certification bodies and certificate holders.