Forest Management

Sustainable forestry management is defined as the stewardship and use of forests and forest land in a way and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national and global levels and does not cause damage to other ecosystems. Sustainably managed forests are a renewable source of raw materials, but the forests also provide services such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and sometimes recreational opportunities. All forests can be managed sustainably, from primary or natural woodlands to intensively managed plantations.
Forestry certification is a mechanism using third party certification bodies to provide assurance that a forest is managed according to internationally recognized sustainability criteria, attesting to responsible management of forests and plantations.

A well-managed forest or plantation is one in which forestry is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable. A sustainable tree plantation conserves native ecosystems, enhances local welfare and is financially profitable. Planted forests allow the demand for wood to be met while using less land than would otherwise be the case.

Forest certification schemes

The certification criteria include not to use wood from controversial sources, or to be indirectly or directly involved in the following unacceptable activities:

a) Illegal logging or trade in illegal wood or forest products
b) Violation of traditional and human rights in forestry operations
c) Destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations
d) Significant conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest use
e) Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations
f) Violation of any of the ILO Core Conventions as defined in the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

There are two major international systems for forest certification: the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFCTM). EPIS is an international stakeholder member in both schemes. PEFC is a global umbrella organization that recognizes the US SFI® (Sustainable Forestry Initiative®) standard, the Brazilian Cerflor standard and the CSA (Canadian Standards Association), to name a few.

All EPIS members are certified and a vast majority of the wood they use comes from certified forests and plantations.