Most recently, the Glasgow Climate Pact, announced at COP26 in December 2021, emphasised the importance of protecting, conserving, and restoring forest ecosystems to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and ensure a healthy, biodiverse planet for future generations.  

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), alongside its partners, hopes to reinforce the central role that forests play in the face of the climate crisis.  

FSC’s key strategic direction on climate action recognizes the value of ecosystem services, restoration, and biodiversity, and connects these to a positive climate impact through forest stewardship, improving forest management, restoring ecosystems, and protecting areas with High Conservation Values.   

“Through its approach to climate actions, FSC will work to invigorate certification to drive the spread of forest stewardship by making it attractive, understandable, and viable for potential users. We will maintain our high credibility and demonstrate impact through using modern technology, and together with our members and partners, we will co-create forest-based solutions to climate-related challenges” said Janne Narakka, FSC International Board member.   

FSC hopes to expand the reach of FSC and its relevance in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss by working with FSC certificate holders, rights holders and stakeholders to develop FSC solutions that are relevant for climate change and related global challenges in the landscape.  

“By utilizing FSC certification and tools like the ecosystem services procedure, FSC will be able to become directly relevant to the policy and market demand for climate change and biodiversity solutions, enabling certificate holders to demonstrate their climate change performance and contribution to national and international sustainability objectives,” said Lincoln Quevedo, FSC International Board member.  

Based on its current policies and standards, FSC has contributed to the development of widely used norms for sustainable forest management that generates significant environmental services and benefits, while adding value to certificate holders and to Indigenous Peoples and local communities – but there is still more to do.  

While this situation may appear overwhelming, we know that forest stewardship, including sound efforts towards protection, conservation, and restoration as well as active management of forest products and services, can contribute to a healthier future for the planet.