Certification for a responsible timber supply

Description Certification is a way to indicate to buyers that the producer has upheld certain standards of conduct embodied in the certification requirements. For responsible timber production, this entails responsible forest management, taking into account the forest’s role in regulating water flow, preventing floods and landslides, storing carbon and providing habitat. It also involves avoiding logging or plantation development on High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF), which is a classification established by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Social aspects are also addressed.

What is the issue? Forests play an essential role in regulating water flow, preventing floods and landslides, maintaining soil functions, storing carbon and providing habitat for endangered and other species. Depletion and degradation of forests affects their ability to perform these functions. Furthermore, in some countries, concession systems restrict local communities’ access to forests which have traditionally helped to provide their livelihoods.

Who is the seller? Companies

Who is the buyer?Middlemen, companies.

Steps towards
successful business model
  • Where necessary, adapt requirements of existing certification bodies to local policy, legal and institutional conditions;
  • Promote and incentivize certification.
What can investors do Investors and lenders can deny uncertified companies credit and adopt certification as a criterion for eligibility to credit.

What can consumers do?
  • Invest in meeting the certification standards and in getting certified;
  • Lobby for extending the duration of exploitation permits, so that businesses will have an incentive to adopt a longer-term view;
  • Negotiate with local communities on a compromise to solve restricted access and exploitation rights;
  • Buy certified wood/paper/pulp products.
What can the Government do? National:
  • Extend the duration of concessions and exploitation permits, so that producers have an incentive to adopt a longer-term perspective on forest management.
  • Tax uncertified businesses and waive taxes for certified businesses;
  • Only issue long-term exploitation permits.
Contribution to…
  • Securing natural capital: Contributes to the health of ecosystems and ecosystem services.
  • Poverty reduction: Solving problems of restricted access, local communities can revert to traditional forest-based activities for extra income;
  • Economic growth: By solving problems of restricted access, traditional local economies can be revived. Natural capital (including ecosystem goods and services) is maintained, benefiting a range of economic sectors in the region and avoiding unnecessary environmental costs;
  • Climate change mitigation/adaptation: Restoring forests improves their capacity as carbon sinks, which supports the mitigation of climate change.