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FSC — Voluntary Forest Certification

Customers in developed countries, when choosing furniture or printer paper, often want to know whether a particular product is made of/from certified timber; and whether it was harvested by methods that prevent degradation of forests and depletion of forest resources.

Meanwhile, according to the statistics, every fourth similar product in our country is of dubious origin, and its production leads to the degradation of forest ecosystems and depletion of resources of high quality timber in accessible areas. The trees they are made from/of could be cut down in a conservation area or in violation of the rules. Sometimes stores sell products from/of wood that was completely banned for logging by the Russian legislation.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international organization that developed a system of confirmation of ecologically and socially responsible forest management. FSC label on timber or on goods made of it means that the products originate from a forest with ecologically and socially responsible forestry.

FSC certificate is given by an independent auditor on the ground of strict annual check in the place of timber harvesting. It is an accepted quality label of wood and paper-based products in 109 countries. All in all, more than 190 million hectares of forests are certified in the world; and over 30 thousand certificates on supply chains are given, they allow placing FSC-certified wood and paper-based products on the market.

In the developed countries, the so-called environmentally sensitive markets have already been formed. This means that there is a growing demand for products made without damage to nature there. In Europe and North America, any buyer, before buying wood or a product made from/of it, looks for an FSC logo.

Demand on certified timber persuaded many Russian exporting companies to obtain FSC-certification. Currently more than 42 million hectares of forests are certified in Russia. Government and ecologically and socially responsible business have been interested in use of «green» products since recently.

In our country WWF-Russia in partnership with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has started to promote certified forest products on the market; it facilitates to develop ecologically sensitive market of forest products. As a result of this work, more and more Russian people learn about forest certification and have an opportunity to make sure whether wood products they buy are legal or not.