About the General Assembly

Every three years, the FSC international membership comes together to discuss the challenges and solutions of responsible forest management, and the future direction of the organization.

General Assembly
FSC AC / Geoff Howe

Members submit motions months before the general assembly begins. Motions are then discussed and debated, before being voted on by all delegates. The FSC General Assembly 2020 will be the 9th assembly of members in the history of the organization. The first general assembly took place in 1996 in Oaxaca, Mexico. For more information about the previous assembly, held in 2017 in Vancouver, visit the 2017 GA website.

The FSC membership is composed of environmentalists, scientists, business leaders, forest managers, Indigenous Peoples, trade union representatives, and NGOs. To give an equal say to these different voices, our membership is divided into three different chambers – environmental, social and economic, which are further split into sub-chambers of global North and South.

Voting on the motions is based on the three-chamber system, with equal voting power given to each chamber. The purpose of the chamber structure is to maintain the balance of voting power between different interests without having to limit the number of members.

Motions are proposals for new work areas or improvements to the FSC system. They cover various aspects from how FSC operates to how to improve the market demand for FSC products. If motions are voted on favourably at the general assembly, they will determine FSC’s future priorities.

There are two types of motions

Statutory Motions

Statutory motions are proposed motions to amend the Statutes or Principles & Criteria. Statutory Motions approved by the general assembly will become valid and legally binding at the close of the general assembly, subject to legal confirmation,

Policy Motions

Policy motions are proposed motions to change FSC policies or operational procedures, including those related to achieving its mission and purpose. Policy motions approved by the general assembly have the status of “initiatives” meaning that they are recommendations or advice to the FSC Board of Directors. The FSC Board of Directors will inform members about the next steps to respond to these initiatives.

Motions are proposals for new work areas or improvements to the FSC system. They cover various aspects from how FSC operates to how to improve the market demand for FSC products. If motions are voted on favourably at the general assembly, they will determine FSC’s future priorities.

Only members can submit motions. This is done online in the FSC members’ portal.