Forest Management

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About the certification systems

Various systems were globally developed for the certification of forest management, but many of them can only be used in certain regions or countries. Partly, ISO certifications (ISO 14.000 or ISO 9000) are applied or taken as a basis for the development of similar systems, for example in Canada (CSA). In this case, only the management system is certified with no concrete requirements for forest management. The management systems and internal procedures are controlled, but organizations are free to decide on their objectives.
Compared to the above mentioned systems, the two most important forest certification systems provide a measurable quality objective. However, it is the duty of the organization how to reach this objective. This is the approach to certification according to the standards of FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) and PEFCTM (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes).
While PEFC as an association of national systems allows a different system for certification in each country, FSC demands a worldwide uniform procedure for audits and certification. Furthermore, the Naturland standard for forest management has gained certain importance in Germany.  


What types of forests/products can be certified?

All types of forests, forest like ecosystems and their respective products can be certified. First and foremost, the most important product is wood, but also non wood products such as nuts, natural rubber or wild honey can be certified. Natural forests, but also plantations or agro forestry systems as long as they comply with the functions of a forest ecosystem can be regarded as forests. This is also the most important criterion in the case of bamboo which can be certified due to the fact that it grows in a forest ecosystem. Although in botanical terms, it is a grass and not a tree. Also in this area, Ecocert IMOswiss AG has taken an outriding position certifying Bamboo forest projects in China according to the FSC standard in 2007.

FSC defines concrete requirements for forest management with which organizations have to comply. These requirements equally consider ecological, economic and social issues. It is always the organization to be responsible for the forest management which will be certified; either the owner of the forest or the concessionaire. Certificates can only be issued on the basis of a contract between the responsible forest management organization and the certification body. The association of several owners for group certification is also possible. In this case, a person responsible for the complete scope has to be appointed.

Ecocert customers who are certified for FSC FM (Forest Management) can now for the first time demonstrate the positive effects of their activities: through an additional FSC validation or verification for ecosystem services. With this process for forest management, FSC wants to create advantages for those who manage forests responsibly and take measures to preserve forest ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water catchment areas or biological diversity.

Read more about our expertise in Forest Management Certification and the certification of Responsible Forest Management.


Department of Forestry & Timber
Fo  +41 (0) 71 626 0 628 and
       +49 (0) 7531 9429130 (FM)
wood& (COC)

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