Technical Updates

Wednesday, 15 March 2023
A Deeper Look at Conversion & Remedy

At the 2022 FSC General Assembly, two of the most hotly debated motions focused on forest conversion (also known as deforestation) and the remedies required for a company to reassociate with FSC. Given the broad implications of these two motions – which passed with strong support from the Membership – FSC developed an in-depth analysis.

FSC was founded as a solution to deforestation, with strong rules against conversion of forests to other land uses. To this day, FSC remains the only forest certification that explicitly prohibits conversion as part of the certification process, and FSC has ended association with companies found to have converted forests to other uses (e.g., oil palm plantations).

At that same time, there is a strong rationale for a remedy pathway for companies to be able to address historic deforestation. First, the remedy can drive forest restoration and create an economic rationale for responsible management going forward. In addition, many of the forests being converted after the 1994 date (which FSC set when it was founded) are found in tropical developing countries. Whereas Europe and North America converted many primary forests hundreds of years ago, developing countries are looking to forests today to promote economic growth. The new remedy and conversion frameworks offer a pathway to restore forests, address historic deforestation (and in some cases, human rights violations), and protect FSC’s integrity.

To learn more: […]