Newsletter Stories

Wednesday, 15 August 2001
Science at the Core of FSC Standards

In April of this year, the scientific journal Conservation Biology published an article responding to a question raised by Susan Bennett, Wildlife Conservation Society, Malaysia, about the relationship between timber certification and biodiversity in tropical forests. The article was co-written by Hank Cauley and Jennifer O'Connor of the FSC, Richard Donovan of Smartwood and Charles Peters of the Institute of Economic Botany. The following is an excerpt from the published article:

“To improve the certification process and to address the concerns of Bennett and other scientists, we have two recommendations. First, the FSC needs to improve educational efforts to ensure that scientists and other interested parties understand the certification process and know where to find the appropriate information. To reiterate, the principles and criteria are a starting point and are further developed in regional standards and certifier's guidelines and checklists. Second, scientists should directly provide to the FSC or certifiers, such as SmartWood, Scientific Certification Systems, and SGS Qualifor, with specific suggestions of indicators that will better address biodiversity, wildlife, or any other areas of concern. The FSC is attempting to improve communication between conservation biologists, ecologists, foresters, and loggers to ensure that the best guidelines are constructed and the scientific components of the certification process are strengthened; inputs from scientists are welcome. ... As the amount of certified forest continues to increase throughout the world, the certification process will continue to improve and grow, and we welcome comments such as Bennett's to help facilitate this growth."

To request a hard copy of the Conservation Biology article, please contact Rochelle McMath or 202.342.0413.