Finnish FSC standard developed in cooperation between the forest industry and environmental organisations

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“The different stakeholder groups reached recently a mutual understanding on the FSC standard as a result of thorough discussions. The standard is the result of our cooperation with the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and Birdlife Finland. Metsähallitus, responsible for state owned forests in Finland, also lent its expertise to the project,” says Antti Otsamo, Manager of Sustainable Forestry at the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

“The Finnish standard focuses special attention on reconciling environmental concerns, land use issues in the Sami region and the needs of economically viable forestry. The negotiation process and the achieved result represent an excellent opening for further strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation between the different parties in the future as well. Lively debate about forest utilisation is sure to continue,” Otsamo says.

The FSC standard consists of ten principles, 54 criteria and 204 indicators. The criteria and indicators deal with, for example, the extensiveness of forest management measures, the balanced assessment of forest-derived benefits and the conservation of rare species. These promote the ecological, social and economic sustainability of forestry in a balanced manner.

Trade in FSC-certified products has increased rapidly over the last decade and is now annually worth more than €15 billion on the global market.

Over 95% of Finland’s commercial forests have been certified. The PEFC standard has been the predominant system. The new FSC standard will provide an opportunity to source also FSC-certified wood from Finnish forests.

FSC certification of forests on the basis of the new Finnish standard can begin after the international FSC grants its blessing; this will probably be done around the beginning of 2011.

For additional information, please contact:

Antti Otsamo, PhD (Forestry), Manager, Sustainable forestry, tel. +358 9 132 6679