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.