FS - HCVF and biodiversity EN.indd

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FS - HCVF and biodiversity EN.indd

Forest Stewardship CouncilFSC CERTIFICATION: PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITYAND HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE FORESTS (HCVF)Forests only cover about 30% of the word’s surface, yetthey are home to about half of terrestrial biodiversity andmillions of the poorest people. If managed responsibly,we can use forest resources and at the same timemaintain forest areas for biodiversity, eco-systemservices and benefi ts for local and global communities.FSC certifi cation prioritizes the protection of especiallyvaluable forest areas which includes both ecologicaland social values. To achieve this, FSC developed theconcept of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).HCVFs are forests of outstanding and critical importance.This could be due to the presence of endangered wildlife,or an unusually high number of rare plant species. Or itcould be because the forest is of critical importance tolocal people because it provides them with food, water,income or sites of cultural signifi cance.Principle 9 of the FSC Principles and Criteria requiresthat forests with High Conservation Values (HCVs)increase or at the very least maintain these values.High Conservation Value ForestsThere are six types of High Conservation ValueForests (HCVFs):1. Globally, regionally or nationally significantconcentrations of biodiversity values2. Globally, regionally or nationally significantlarge landscape-level forests3. Forest areas that are in or contain rare,threatened or endangered ecosystems4. Forest areas that provide basic services ofnature in critical situations5. Forest areas fundamental to meeting basicneeds of local communities6. Forest areas critical to local communities’traditional cultural identityThe classification of HCVFs is highly dependent onthe particular socio-cultural and ecological context.HCVFs are determined following a broad and inclusivestakeholder consultation process.Besides the particular attention given to HCVFs, FSCcertifi cation also protects biodiversity more generallythrough Principle 6.The 10 Principles and associated Criteria is a set ofinternationally applicable requirements for responsibleforest management.Photocredits: © Daniel Beltrá / Greenpeace - © Martin Schwenniger - © Juraj Vysoky / FSC Slovakia - © Milan ReskaFor further information visit our website: www.fsc.orgOCTOBER 2008


OCTOBER 2008FSC Principles for Forest Stewardship1. Compliance with laws and FSC principles2. Tenure and use rights and responsibilities3. Indigenous people’s rights4. Community relations and worker’s rights5. Multiple benefi ts from the forest6. Assessment of environmental impact7. Management planning8. Monitoring and assessmentof management impacts9. Maintenance of high conservationvalue forests10. Responsible management of plantationsCertification protects socially andenvironmentally important areasAll FSC certifi ed operations must have a forestmanagement plan that includes an inventory for highconservation values. If such values are found, themanagement plan has to include concrete actions onhow these values will be protected.® FSC, A.C. All rights reserved. FSC-SECR-0002 Photocredits: © Eric Goethals / FSC - © Milan Reska Graphiccredits: © FSC DenmarkTo strike a balance between conservation and use, lowimpactmanagement procedures must be adopted soas not to degrade, but to maintain or improve the forestintegrity through management. Yearly surveillance auditsprescribed by the FSC system control its effectivenessand implementation.The HCVF concept is increasingly being used by otherinitiatives for mapping, conservation and natural resourceplanning and advocacy. The concept is also beingused by companies setting precautionary purchasingpolicies and in discussions and policies by governmentagencies.FSC International Center GmbH · Charles-de-Gaulle-Strasse 5 · 53113 Bonn · GermanyPhone +49 (0) 228 367 66 0 · Fax +49 (0) 228 367 66 30 · fsc@fsc.org · www.fsc.org


OCTOBER 2008Areas of vital importanceLarge areas of high biodiversity worldwide are criticallyaffected by the exploitation of forests, whether by largescalecompanies or small-scale community basedmanagement.While HCVFs are a global phenomenon, tropical forestsare by far the richest in biodiversity, making the protectionof tropical forests the prime challenge for biodiversityconservation.Globally, around 12% of all forest area certifi ed to FSC’sstandards lies within the tropics or the subtropics. About60% of these are natural forests.12% might appear to be a small percentage, but this ispartly due to the major changes needed to comply withFSC requirements. In this context, more changes oftenmean greater positive change and impact.The FSC Global Strategy (2007) recognizes the needto develop further tools and mechanisms to increaseFSC certifi cation in the tropics. Also, among all forestcertifi cation schemes, FSC certifi es by far the mostforests in the tropics.Strengthening HCVFs and biodiversityprotection in FSCIn May 2005, FSC and its partners launched a fouryearproject to protect HCVFs and biodiversity throughincreasing access and reducing barriers to FSCcertifi cation, targeting small scale and low intensityforest operations.The project is a partnership with the Center forInternational Forestry Research (CIFOR) and funded bythe Global Environmental Facility (GEF).Get the latest fi gures online at:www.fsc.org/facts-figures.htmlNorth America34.76% of total certifi ed areas(35’641’047 ha)151 certifi catesEurope46.89% of total certifi ed areas(48’076’616 ha)404 certifi cates Asia2.08% of total certifi ed areas(2’136’915 ha)66 certifi catesSouth America & Caribbean11.31% of total certifi ed areas(11’600’043 ha)248 certifi catesAfrica3.4% of total certifi ed areas(3’491’157 ha)42 certifi catesOceania1.55% of total certifi ed areas(1’586’173 ha)29 certifi catesSeptember 15, 2008Total certified area: 102’531’951 haNo. countries: 81Total no. certificates: 940FSC International Center GmbH · Charles-de-Gaulle-Strasse 5 · 53113 Bonn · GermanyPhone +49 (0) 228 367 66 0 · Fax +49 (0) 228 367 66 30 · fsc@fsc.org · www.fsc.org


OCTOBER 2008• The HCVF toolkitFSC is currently developing an international step-bystepbest practice guide for forest managers and ownersto meet HCVF and biodiversity requirements. Thisresource will be especially valuable for certifi cation inthe tropical regions.The toolkit is designed to help small and low scaleforest managers, communities and non-timber forestproduct (NTFP) collectors understand and meet strictFSC requirements whilst continuing to meet theirmanagement objectives.It outlines a practical methodology for defi ning HCVs ata national or sub-national level. It offers a unique andinclusive approach that integrates information froma range of sources. Furthermore, it describes how toidentify, manage and monitor HCVs.• Database for monitoring biodiversity and HCVFsA set of standardized indicators for monitoring theconservation of HCVFs and biodiversity is underdevelopment. The database will include these indicatorsfor on-going monitoring.• Building capacity and awarenessTo disseminate the results of the project internationally,FSC will offer a series of regional training courses forgroups developing and promoting certifi cation standardsin the three project countries of Brazil, Cameroon andMexico.FSC is expecting to publish the guide by January 2009.• Locally appropriate indicatorsNational standard Working Groups are currentlydeveloping national indicators for assessing themanagement and monitoring of HCVF and biodiversityin FSC certifi ed forests. The three countries participatingare Brazil, Cameroon and Mexico. The indicators will beintegrated into the wider national forest managementstandards.• Innovative funding to offer incentives® FSC, A.C. All rights reserved. FSC-SECR-0002 Photocredits: © Juan Carlos ReyesInnovative fi nance-market mechanisms are underwayto offer small forest managers incentives for biodiversityconservation. These include markets for certifi ed timberand non-timber products or for certifi ed forest services,such as the conservation of biodiversity itself.For further information on this project, pleasecontact the FSC Policy and Standards Program atpolicy.standards@fsc.org.FSC International Center GmbH · Charles-de-Gaulle-Strasse 5 · 53113 Bonn · GermanyPhone +49 (0) 228 367 66 0 · Fax +49 (0) 228 367 66 30 · fsc@fsc.org · www.fsc.org

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