Thursday, 08. December 2016
ForCES : Heading Towards Successful Completion in 2017

Charnawati landscape in the Dolakha District that the project team visited - Credit: Sini Savilaakso (© Credit: Sini Savilaakso)

In a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 20–23 November 2016, the ForCES international steering committee affirmed that all project targets will be reached by December 2017.

The Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project is expected to complete 80–90 per cent of project deliverables and targets by the end of February 2017, with remaining activities to be carried out by the end of 2017. Key current and upcoming activities are detailed below.

Promising market research
There is interest on both the supply and demand sides for FSC-verified ecosystem services claims that can be used by forest managers to attract rewards for preserving valuable ecosystem services. FSC is developing new ecosystem services tools that will reward participating FSC certificate holders by improving their access to ecosystem service payments and impact investments.

Potential business models
Several successful business models have been reported in eachof the ForCES countries – Chile, Indonesia, Nepal, and Viet Nam – bringing both monetary and non-monetary benefits to managers of FSC-certified forests who are able to present FSC-verified impact claims to ecosystem service beneficiaries. Non-monetary benefits include ensuring good relations with stakeholders or beneficiaries of ecosystem services, improved management and monitoring of ecosystem services, and increased awareness of the ecosystem services functions.

Streamlined ecosystem services procedure
FSC with the support of CIFOR is developing a procedure for demonstrating the impact of forest stewardship on ecosystem services, which will provide a basis for forest managers to demonstrate impacts and apply new ecosystem services business models focused on preserving watershed services, carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity conservation, soil conservation, and recreational services. A draft of the Procedure has been tested in 6 pilot sites of the ForCES project. Certification Bodies GFA Certification, NEPCon, Rainforest Alliance, and SCS Global Services have all provided support for the field-testing so far. Feedback from the field test has yet to be included in the first draft of the Ecosystem Services Procedure, which will be published for consultation in the second quarter of 2017. The objective is to have the procedure approved by the FSC Board of Directors before the end of 2017.

Stronger national forest stewardship standards
Implementing partners in Indonesia, Nepal, and Viet Nam have included additional requirements for ecosystem services in their draft FSC national forest stewardship standards and described the remaining steps to have these standards formally approved and available for use. In some cases, additional requirements for ecosystem services still need to be adapted to local circumstances; in others, the standards are entering their final consultation period.

Becoming thought leaders
The new FSC ecosystem services tools were presented at the Conference on Sustainable Forest Management Certification for Resilient Ecosystems, Improved Governance and Local Livelihoods. These tools will reward participating FSC certificate holders by improving their access to ecosystem service payments and impact investments. ANSAB, FSC, FSC Chile, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and WWF Indonesia also made presentations at this conference, which was hosted by project partner ANSAB. Representatives from the project in Chile, Indonesia, and Nepal explained how they worked with site managers to get their ecosystem services claims verified.

More information
Please check FSC webpage about the ecosystem services programme work or contact Chris Henschel at