The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and partner organizations will research, analyze, and field-test innovative ways of evaluating and rewarding the provision of critical ecosystem services, such as biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, and carbon storage and sequestration.

The Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (forCES) project examines the changes needed to the FSC system over a six-year period, 2011–2017, if FSC is to become a global leader in the certification of ecosystem services (ES).

Pilot tests will be carried out at ten forest sites under different sociopolitical and environmental conditions. A crucial factor will be the development of suitable compliance indicators, both at national and international levels. Newly developed impact indicators will be used to demonstrate positive outcomes and the achievement of social and environmental objectives.

By the end of 2017, FSC will have set in place an enhanced global system for forest managers, targeting key ecosystem services that have market potential. Demonstration sites for ecosystem services will have been certified. And the positive impacts and added value of FSC certification will have been demonstrated to forest operations and local communities.

Expected Outcomes

1. Generic and national indicators for the management/monitoring of ecosystem services

2. Methodology to assess social and environmental benefits of FSC certification

3. Viable business model for rewarding the provision of ecosystem services