FSC Principles and Criteria

International guidelines developed through consensus

FSC-certified Forest in Saskatchewan (© Mistik Management)© Mistik ManagementThe FSC Principles & Criteria (P&C) describe the essential elements or rules of environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management.

There are ten principles setting out this vision; each principle is supported by several criteria that provide a way of judging whether the principle has been met in practice.


The ten FSC Principles require the forest owner or manager to do the following:

Principle 1Compliance with Laws - Comply with all applicable laws*, regulations and nationally-ratified* international treaties, conventions and agreements.

Principle 2: Workers’ Rights and Employment Conditions -Maintain or enhance the social and economic wellbeing of workers*

Principle 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights - identify and uphold* indigenous peoples’* legal and customary rights* of ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.

Principle 4: Community Relations - contribute to maintaining or enhancing the social and economic wellbeing of local communities*

Principle 5: Benefits from the forest – efficiently manage the range of multiple products and services of the Management Unit* to maintain or enhance long term economic viability* and the range of environmental and social benefits.

Principle 6: Environmental Values and Impacts - maintain, conserve and/or restore ecosystem services* and environmental values* of the Management Unit*, and shall avoid, repair or mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Principle 7: Management Planning - have a management plan* consistent with its policies and objectives* and proportionate to scale, intensity and risks* of its management activities. The management plan shall be implemented and kept up to date based on monitoring information in order to promote adaptive management*. The associated planning and procedural documentation shall be sufficient to guide staff, inform affected stakeholders* and interested stakeholders* and to justify management decisions.

Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment - demonstrate that, progress towards achieving the management objectives*, the impacts of management activities and the condition of the Management Unit*, are monitored and evaluated proportionate to the scale, intensity and risk* of management activities, in order to implement adaptive management*

Principle 9: High Conservation Values - maintain and/or enhance the High Conservation Values* in the Management Unit* through applying the precautionary approach*.

Principle 10: Implementation of Management Activities - Management activities conducted by or for The Organization* for the Management Unit* shall be selected and implemented consistent with The Organization’s economic, environmental and social policies and objectives* and in compliance with the Principles* and Criteria* collectively.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000205