Technical Updates


Wednesday, 23 May 2018
FSC launches ecosystem services procedure

The Forest Stewardship Council has launched the Ecosystem Services Procedure (FSC-PRO-30-006), which aims to create incentives for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests - a world-first in forest certification.


Ecosystem services represent a range of benefits, such as clean water, that people derive from nature. FSC-certified forest managers already preserve ecosystem services and bear the associated costs. This new procedure will facilitate access to ecosystem services markets by providing forest landowners, smallholders and communities with the tools to verify and derive value from their positive impacts on ecosystem services.

FSC’s new Ecosystem Services Procedures will verify the impacts on carbon sequestration and storage; conservation of biodiversity; watershed services; soil conservation; and recreational services.

The procedure will be ready to use from August 21st, 2018. Leading up to this date, FSC will provide training for forest managers who want to use the procedure and for certification bodies who will evaluate compliance with it.

The procedure also offers businesses and governments a new tool to demonstrate and communicate the impact their purchases, investments and financial support are having on the conservation and restoration of forest ecosystem services. FSC will work with governments and private sector partners to test the most promising business models to deliver benefits from the Ecosystem Services Procedure. Some possibilities include:

  • Private sector investment. FSC will look to partner with major global brands to invest in positive impacts on water, carbon and biodiversity in the forests from which they source their raw materials.
  • Financial sponsorship. The new Ecosystem Services Procedure will allow financial sponsors of verified ecosystem services impacts to use FSC trademarks to promote their sponsorship.
  • Confirm contributions to fighting climate change. FSC’s Ecosystem Services Procedure can be used to verify positive impacts on both carbon and non-carbon benefits of reduced deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Impact investing. FSC would like to work with partners in the financial sector to explore how integrating FSC certification and FSC-verified ecosystem services impacts into strategies used by impact funds can bolster the case for private sector investments in conservation.

For more information on the Ecosystem Services Procedure contact Chris Henschel at c.henschel at fsc point org


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