Are forest stewards rewarded for their efforts?

Forest managers who adhere to the principles of responsible forest management through a well-recognized system such as FSC can achieve higher prices for their products, attract new customers and enter new markets.

They may also benefit from advantageous loans or tax reductions. However, such benefits do not always sufficiently outweigh the investments and operational costs needed to develop and implement responsible management systems – particularly when there is competition with products from exploitative or illegal logging.

Providing rewards for the supply of ecosystem services, known as Payments for Environmental Services (PES), is a mechanism for compensating local communities. It is based on the notion that land owners and forest managers should have incentives for maintaining forest cover, productivity and integrity. These payments may be made by the immediate beneficiaries of such services, by companies compensating for environmental damage caused in other areas or by governments wanting to prevent land degradation and disasters.

FSC's Global Strategic Plan (2015-2020) commits us to create new tools for forest management certificate holders to access emerging ecosystem service markets. Our new Ecosystem Services Procedure will enable this access with new ecosystem services claims: FSC trademarks can be used to promote financial sponsorship of verified ecosystem services impacts or promote FSC-certified products carrying these claims.