Forest Stewardship Council's Principles and Criteria



FSC Principles and Criteria

Also read recommendations of Forest Fringe Citizens' Coalition with reference to Preliminary Draft of Standards of Canadian Boreal Forest areas.

After three years of extensive global consultation, 10 Principles and complementaryCriteria were agreed upon at the FSC's founding meeting in 1993. The FSC's Principles and Criteria are universal in nature and apply to tropical, temperate and boreal forests.

They cover broad issues such as land tenure, the reduction of environmental impacts, optimal utilization of forest products, and written management plans. The Principles and Criteria are used as a guiding framework for developing standards which are appropriate to social, ecological and economic conditions at national and/or regional levels.

Principle #1. Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles

Forest management shall respect all applicable laws of the country in which they occur, and international treaties and agreements to which the country is a signatory, and comply with all FSC Principles and Criteria.

Principle #2. Tenure & Use Rights and Responsibilities

Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined, documented and legally established.

Principle #3. Indigenous Peoples' Rights

The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be recognized and respected.

Principle #4. Community Relations and Worker's Rights

Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities.

Principle #5. Benefits from the Forest

Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forests multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and wide range of environmental and social benefits.

Principle #6. Environmental Impact

Forest Management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain the ecological functions and the integrity of the forest.

Principle #7. Management Plan

A management plan - appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operations - shall be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.

Principle #8 Monitoring & Assessment

Monitoring shall be conducted appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management - to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts.

Principle #9 Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests

Management activities in high conservation value forests shall maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests. Decisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach.

Principle #10 Plantations

Plantations shall be planned and managed in accordance with Principles and Criteria 1-9, and Principle 10 and its Criteria. While plantations can provide an array of social and economic benefits, and can contribute to satisfying the world's needs for forest products, they should complement the management of, reduce pressures on, and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests.

Revised version, 1996,

Forest Stewardship Council.