Newsletter Stories

Friday, 03 February 2012
FSC members approve revised Principles & Criteria

When the votes were tallied, the FSC Membership approved the revised Principles & Criteria (P&C), with approximately 70% of Members participating in all chambers. 78% of Economic Chamber, 62% of Environmental Chamber and 86% of Social Chamber Members voted to approve the revisions.

With the revised P&C now approved, attention turns to next steps. To that end, there are a couple key points to emphasize:

  • FSC International Center will be developing a set of generic indicators, which will represent minimum levels of compliance for national or regional standards. This process will likely take at least a year and a half, and will include stakeholder workshops and 60-day public consultations.
  • While the transition process for Forest Management standards is not finalized, FSC-US will be involved with its development to ensure system stability and integrity. We are committed to maintaining the same stable set of requirements that represent responsible forest management.

Our expectation is that the US National Forest Management Standard will be updated on approximately the five-year cycle that is required in any case.

Additional Background

As the first major revision, the new P&C brings FSC practices current with the policies, clarifications, and lessons learned since its inception in 1993. With revisions now approved, FSC will begin immediately to engage stakeholders in the development of baseline requirements (the “Generic Indicators”) for each of the Criteria.

FSC is mindful of the concerns raised by members during the review and revision of the P&C and is committed to addressing them in the Generic Indicators development, as well as in subsequent policy-level discussions. Additionally, we will reach out to our members to capture the learnings we’ve acquired from this unprecedented process.

FSC is deeply grateful to the dedicated individuals that made this advancement possible, including the Principles & Criteria Working Group, the FSC Membership and the staff involved. Their high level of engagement in this process has enabled FSC to move forward with renewed confidence.

For more information about the FSC Principles & Criteria, please visit