The Forest Stewardship Council mission is to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.
Our vision is that we can meet our current needs for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations.
Principles & Criteria
To achieve our mission and vision, FSC has developed a set of 10 principles and 57 Criteria that apply to FSC-certified forests around the world. The Principles include the following:
- 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 AND 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 forest’s multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and a 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 AND 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.