The FSC Network gives depth and legitimacy to our global mission.
During the "Highlights of the Regions" keynote session at the General Assembly, regional representatives shared meaningful narratives and showcased their achievements.
Africa: Colourful, Vivid and Vibrant
Peter O. Alele, Regional Director of FSC Africa, underscored that local deforestation rates are still significant and exacerbated by human encroachment and population increase. He said, "To reverse these trends it will require a combination of innovation and bold actions," adding that, "We must maintain this momentum with our people-centred approaches to ensure that we protect forests for the benefit of all African people."
Europe: Unity, Collaboration and Accountability
FSC Europe remains focused on demonstrating the impact of FSC. Anna Ylä-Anttila, Director of FSC Finland, remined everyone that "Smallholders are key!" Recently, FSC Europe has engaged with community and family forest owners in the Iberian Peninsula and increased the certificate coverage to 970,495 ha in the region. FSC Europe has also been demonstrating its ability to influence and shape European policy as it relates to responsible forest management by positioning FSC in the EU Green Deal for deforestation-free products and in strategic work plans relating to FPIC implementation.
CIS: Adaptability and Resilience
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has turned the world upside down. "FSC has continued to uphold our shared values. We continue the dialogue. We take solid decisions to protect our credibility and maintain our high standards. In hard times we become stronger." commented Lieske van Santen, Global Network Director, for FSC International. Ms van Santen presented on behalf of Lev Fedorovich, Regional Membership Coordinator for the CIS Region, who was unable to attend the GA. "We will not let the war divide us," she concluded.
Latin America – Our People, Our Forests
Bruno Rath, Regional Director of Latin America, kicked off his presentation.
In close collaboration with FSC's Network Partners, FSC Latin America builds local markets for FSC products by connecting with the regional middle class. "We work with local communities, smallholders, and Indigenous Peoples to strengthen FSC in the region and protect native forests and their biodiversity” said Bruno Rath, Regional Director of Latin America.
North America – Seizing Opportunities, Turning Tides
North America offers vast opportunities in forest management, ecosystem services and market uptake. Despite being the most trusted forest certification, FSC's potential is being challenged by perceptions of high costs to supply chain companies. Derik Frederiksen, Director of FSC US, explained that, "FSC North America is working hard to address burdens while increasing positive benefits for forest managers, wildlife, communities, and Indigenous Peoples."
Asia Pacific – Focus and Promise
"We are a region of rapid growth, innovations, and enormous opportunities." says Cindy Cheng, Regional Director of FSC Asia-Pacific. While taking on the challenges in upholding the FSC brand and ensuring system integrity, FSC Asia-Pacific also focuses on maintaining and enhancing dialogue with governments, local communities, and our wide diversity of stakeholders. She explains that, "The next generation is what counts; which is why we are taking an innovative approach to developing a new generation of leaders and supporters."
Taking place on the last day of the General Assembly, the session was rounded off with a light-hearted video capturing moments from FSC field staff in action and a reminder that....
"The Network has always been and will always be a crucial part of FSC and our continued success."