© N.C Turner / WWF
Forest Certification
Forest certification is a mechanism for forest monitoring, tracing and labeling timber, wood and pulp products and non-timber forest products, where the quality of forest management is judged against a series of agreed standards.

Credible forest certification covers much more than just logging practices – it also accounts for the social and economic well-being of workers and local communities, transparency and inclusiveness in decision making.
Responsible forest management is a key component of WWF’s vision for a future in which people live in harmony with nature. The sustainable use of renewable forest products can help provide forest-dependent people with shelter, fuel, medicine and other services, while providing essential habits for plants and animals and safeguard against climate change. 

Forest certification is an important tool to promote better forest management and trade of forest products. However, certification is not a universal remedy against all the threats facing forests globally - it cannot replace scientifically sound regulations and legislation and must be complemented by strategies to protect and restore forests. 

What certification system can you trust?

Today there are a plethora of forest certification schemes. Certification will only ensure responsible forest management if the system has comprehensive management standards, rigorous control mechanisms and broad involvement of economic, environmental and social stakeholders. To be credible, schemes should have strong verification systems. A scheme largely based on legal rules, procedures and enforcement may be valid in countries with strong and functioning law enforcement, but could potentially be damaging in countries where this is not the case.

WWF considers the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to be the most robust certification system to ensure environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests. WWF therefore recommends the FSC system to consumers, companies purchasing forest products, forest managers, policymakers and businesses.
Scientific evidence on tropical forest certification
Is certified forest management really better than conventional logging for the environment, people, and logging companies’ bottom lines?

Scientific evidence of tropical forest certification rel= © WWF

Click on the map above. Use the drop down menus to select data from your country of choice or to view data for a particular type of evidence. Click on the name of an outcome (such as animal diversity, or deforestation and degradation) to display data specific to it. Click on a square to see what evidence the outcome is based on. Data visualization by GreenInfo Network. Database last updated in August 2017. Download data here.
WWF promotes Sino-African green development, contributes to China and Gabon forestry agreement

04 Sep 2019

WWF welcomes expansion of sustainable forestry in Congo Basin.