Response to FSC
A group of timber users, traders and representatives of non-governmental organizations met in California in 1990 to discuss how they could combine their interests to improve global forest management. Their meeting confirmed the need for a just and credible system for identifying well-managed forests as acceptable sources of forest products. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded in 1993 to implement this system.
FSC’s success has led to the development of other forest certification systems. These were introduced by forest owners and timber traders that want a certificate but do not (or can not) fulfil the FSC requirements and procedures.
Currently there is a variety of forest certification systems around the world which claim to ensure responsible forest management the way FSC does. To assess whether a system works well the system itself, the quality of monitoring and the impacts in the forests and on local people all have to be taken into account.
Independent research, including work by societal interest groups and scientists, has shown that there is reason to doubt the reliability of among others PEFC, CSA, SFI, MTCC, AFS, OLB and Keurhout. In comparison with FSC these systems are clearly less transparent, economic interests are dominant and minimum requirements are not sufficiently objective and verifiable.