Spurred by compelling questions about responsibly managed foresty, loggers, foresters, environmentalists, and sociologists came together in the first General Assembly to form the FSC in 1993.
There are many organizations commited to the reforestation of badly damaged eco-systems, and the systems we need to properly make use of the forests we still have so they will still be standing for many years to come.
Forest Certification is the process by which the performance of on-the-ground forestry operations are assessed against a predetermined set of standards. The Forest Stewardship Council's Principles and Criteria for Forest Management serve as the global foundation for the development of region-specific forest-management standards. Independent certification bodies, accredited by the FSC in the application of these standards, conduct impartial, detailed assessments of forest operations at the request of landowners. If the forest operations are found to be in conformance with FSC standards, a certificate is issued. Only products with a complete chain-of-custody, which meet specific labeling requirements, can use the FSC™ logo.
Images of burned over tropical forests are very disturbing for a complex set of reasons. The short-term destruction is enormous. A tourist can encounter pairs of bulldozers piling trees in rows to be torched, or forest fires in progress or cattle grazing among blackened stumps. And then, up the road a piece, the cleared forest reverts to pioneer species quickly. Many adaptable palm tree species like the lack of competition. Some large old large seed trees survive beyond the fire and provide shade for the cattle and seed for natural regeneration. Forested areas originally burned for pasture revert to second growth when abandoned. All of these processes require decades. If the originally forested area is converted to agriculture then the forest is gone for the duration of intensive cultivation. FSC certified forests are managed to maintain natural forest complexity that emphasizes natural recovery and regeneration.
All natural forests are teaming with life. Beyond timber, there are fruits, nuts, insects, resins, wild flower honey, flowers, vine fibers, and other useful natural products that prosper in natural and well-managed forests. There are domesticated food plants such as shade grown coffee, that thrive in association with well-managed forests. Our long term goals is to import and distribute these products as they become available from FSC certified forests.