Etifor is part of the technical working group and will bring its experience to the revision process

Fonte: ANBI

Ecosystem services are defined as the benefits that nature provides to people. In this regard, forests provide a wide range of these benefits, from oxygen and clean water to biodiversity and much more. In order to recognise the high value of these services and promote them, in 2018 the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) introduced the “FSC-PRO-30-006 Ecosystem Services Procedure: Impact Demonstration and Market Tools”.

This procedure allows forest owners and managers to identify, measure and verify the positive impact of a responsible forest management of 5 categories of ecosystem services. Namely, the categories are: capture and conservation of CO2 stored in forests, biodiversity conservation, soil conservation, maintenance or improvement of water quality and watershed, conservation or improvement of recreational services. Available only to organisations with a valid FSC forest management certificate, the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure was created for 3 main objectives. First, to define the requirements for managers of FSC-certified forests to credibly demonstrate the impacts of their activities in maintaining, conserving, restoring, or enhancing ecosystem services. Second, to provide FSC-certified forest managers with better access to the emerging ecosystem services markets thought the use of claims based on verified impacts. Third, to improve access to funding for verified ecosystem services restoration and improvement impacts.

Recently, FSC has decided to revise the procedure on ecosystem services. The main objective of this revision is to streamline the procedure. The revision will attempt to increase clarity and simplicity, while making the procedure more comprehensive. In this regard, the revision will encourage the use of the option to integrate the Ecosystem Services validation process with to Forest Management evaluation process. At the same time, the process aims to lower the costs and improve access, especially for smallholders and communities. Finally, new technologies for remote audit options, such as the Earth Observation, will be considered.

As first step of the revision process a new technical working group, which Etifor is part of, has been established. The technical working group consists of 3 interest-balanced members, representing economic, environmental, and social interests, and 3 technical experts. Etifor will be represented by Wesley Snell, who will cover the economic interests in the group.

The other members are Jens Kanstru (Forest of the World), Alan Smith, Sriskandh Subramanian (The Gold Standard Foundation), Ana Vaz (NBI – Natural Business Intelligence & CIBIO – Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources of the University of Porto), Rachele Perazzolo (FSC Italy).

Those interested in following the revision process will be able to do so by registering at the consultative forum. FSC will regularly share updates on the forum and may also consult its members on specific questions outside of the regular public consultations. You can register with the consultative forum here.