Page 1

Forest Matters Mar/Apr 2018





Director’s Overview Contents 3 4

News in Brief  tagecraft UK – where S difference comes naturally

6 Fruitful beginnings for smallholders in Central Asia 10 Product Focus: Carbon Gold Biochar 12

Get to know… FSC Finland

14 Forest Focus: • Revised UK forest management standard published by FSC • Public consultation open; is UK sourced wood low risk? 16

 SC-certified snowboards at F the Winter Olympics

Dear Reader, Welcome to the March/April edition of Forest Matters. I am delighted that the revised forest management standard for the UK has now received final approval from FSC International and will become effective on 1 April 2018, see page 14 for more information. Many of you will be aware that this has been a lengthy process and I would like to thank all those who have helped to get us to this point. However, the work on UK forests is not over, as our focus now shifts to the Controlled Wood risk assessment of the UK. A public consultation on the revised assessment in open to all interested parties until 20 April. Foresters in England may also wish to make their views known as part of DEFRA’s agricultural policy consultation (see right). Moving further afield, this issue cracks open an exciting case study from the forests of Kyrgyzstan (p.8). This smallholder project provides an opportunity for food and cosmetics producers looking to source a variety of quality products that support communities, whilst protecting Kyrgyzstan’s unique walnut forests. Best wishes,

18 International case study: Bunun tribe becomes first indigenous community to achieve FSC certification in Taiwan and the greater China region 20


FSC in Numbers

Rosie Teasdale Executive Director, FSC UK

News in Brief 6 Fruitful beginnings for smallholders in Central Asia A group of smallholders in Kyrgyzstan recently obtained the first FSC certification for nontimber forest products (NTFPs) in Central Asia.

FSC-certified conference arena at Ecobuild 2018 Canary Wharf Group’s FSC-certified projects include Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, 25 and 30 Churchill Place, 20 Fenchurch Street and Jubilee Place Retail Mall Extension. And now they have achieved successful certification for their conference arena at Ecobuild 2018 (FSCŽP001754).

Belfast and Leeds stakeholder events now fully booked Our March events in Belfast and Leeds are both fully booked. Look out for more stakeholder events later this year.

Opportunity to shape future farming and environment policy UK environment minister pledges EUTR will remain after Brexit UK environment minister Dr Therese Coffey assured the timber sector that the EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT will continue after Brexit at the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) parliamentary reception in Westminster on 7 February.

DEFRA have launched a consultation seeking views on their proposals for future agricultural policy in England. The consultation will close on 8 May 2018.


Case Study

Stagecraft, where difference comes naturally Stagecraft Display Ltd is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of retail display systems, delivering high quality interior and exterior products to a wide range of garden centres and retail outlets.


tagecraft (FSCÂŽC123949) has been at the forefront of the design, manufacture and installation of retail display equipment for over 30 years. Based in Mid Wales, the company began by supplying plant benching for garden centres and later developed into the wider retail sector. Stagecraft has since worked with a variety of businesses from large retail chains such as Waitrose, John Lewis and Next, to smaller independent retailers, whilst retaining their position as market leaders in the supply of garden centre displays. As the business has grown so too has its experience, skills and capacity. Stagecraft now also offer their expert 4

manufacturing services for timber frame panel production for housing, as well as CNC cutting services to a variety of business sectors and private individuals, catering for both large and small scale production runs. Stagecraft’s continued success is due to their ability to recognise how innovation and adaptation can be used to re-tool a business and remain competitive in the fast paced ever-changing retail market. It is this ethos and positive attitude toward change which prompted the company to improve their environmental standards by seeking a recognised certification scheme. Andrew Evans, Operations Director at Stagecraft said

Created with the concept ‘less waste, longer shelf life’ the Responsible Retail collection is based on a modular crate based system, meaning the shelving and crates can be reworked, repositioned and new units added, avoiding the need for buying completely new displays. Plus, each unit within the collection has been carefully designed using select lengths and sizes to ensure that wood waste is kept to an absolute minimum. “Through local production and FSC certification our customers can be confident that our retail displays are not only responsible in their function but also ethically responsible toward the environment.” Mark Williams, Business Development Manager at Stagecraft. “It is pivotal to build and nurture strong relationships with our clients by responding to their demands. Naturally within the garden centre industry there is an ever growing demand from our clients to move toward green living and an environmental ethos. Garden centres and respected retailers face great pressure to meet ethical ratings not only from wood sourcing but also their policies on sourcing stone, pesticides, animal products etc.” To carry the FSC label timber products have to be verified as coming from a certified source at all points in the supply chain, from raw material to consumer. The chain of custody certification links responsible forest management directly with consumers, meaning that every display from interior shop-fit to exterior benching is tracked from forest to retail outlet. FSC certification has also played a pivotal role in Stagecraft securing tenders with large clients outside of the garden centre industry, including Waitrose and various National Trusts across the country. Without certification and the absolute assurance it provides it would have been extremely difficult for the company to compete for these clients with strong brand images and CSR targets to uphold. Therefore, FSC certification is essential for Stagecraft to improve market access and maintain market share. In today’s society there has been a recent trend whereby consumers favour buying products that are produced in an economically viable, socially considerate and environmentally responsible manner. “We realise as a large timber product manufacturer we have a responsibility toward the wider environment. FSC acts as a promise within our organisation, not only to our customers but also our staff that we take our responsibility seriously and are continually striving to ensure the work we do has as little negative impact both socially and environmentally as possible.” In February 2017, Stagecraft launched Responsible Retail, an interior display concept developed especially for retailers seeking a sustainable and long term solution that would appeal to both design and ethically conscious customers.

FSC auditing process FSC uses a detailed auditing process where great care is taken at each step in the supply chain to avoid non-certified timber entering the system. Therefore rigorous training and practices must be put in place in order to achieve certification. In order to prepare for the auditing process Stagecraft took full advantage of available training and online resources. Having members of staff take part in these training exercises not only aided us in achieving certification but also helped raise awareness of FSC throughout the business. Andrew Evans went on to say “Having awareness at all levels of the business has prompted a more proactive attitude within the company toward being resourceful and appreciative of the FSC practices and measures we have put in place.” Stagecraft is proud to be an FSC certified manufacturer and would highly recommend any company thinking of joining FSC to do so. Not only will you be preserving nature and protecting our environment but also have the opportunity to grow your business by enhancing reputation and brand image. This will demonstrate to customers that you comply with the highest social and environmental standards.


International case study

Fruitful beginnings for smallholders in Central Asia

Davlet Mmadzanov

A group of 52 smallholders recently obtained the first FSC certification for nontimber forest products (NTFPs) in Central Asia. Their products are sold under the brand SILK ROAD TASTE™ and include nuts, dried fruits, and honey.


yrgyzstan, located in Central Asia between Kazakhstan and China, is home to the world’s largest natural walnut forests. These are some of the last remaining ecosystems dominated by fruit-bearing woody species and are of global significance for biodiversity conservation.

Kyrgyzstan. KAFLU aims to create conditions for the sustainable use of natural resources and development of entrepreneurial activities in forestry and land use.

The road to certification The FSC CIS Regional Office first visited Kyrgyzstan in November 2014. “We learnt how unique the forests are in this mountainous country, we met local people and realised how enormously important these forests are to their livelihood and survival,” says Mariam Mattila, FSC Regional Market Development Manager for CIS countries, who has helped to facilitate the certification process. The Kyrgyz Association of Forest and Land Users (KAFLU) (FSC-C137351 and FSC-C137353) is the main driver of the FSC certification for smallholders in 6

Mariam Mattila

The KAFLU was set up by Aitkul Burhanov, who once headed a state forest agency but now chooses to work with smallholders on the ground. He says; “FSC certification is crucial for protection of natural walnut forests and to get Kyrgyz non-timber forest products visible on global markets, with benefits going directly to communities. It will positively affect local people’s livelihood and will start an important process of achieving sustainability, biodiversity, gender balance and waste management in walnut forests.” Smallholder harvests make up a third, or more, of families’ incomes, especially in the south. The nutritious walnuts are also an important part of their diet. However, it is estimated that 80% of these precious ecosystems have disappeared due to logging, poverty and pressure from a growing population. Smallholder grant funding from FSC supported the KAFLU to purchase equipment for drying and packing, develop walnut harvesting methods and train forest producers on compliance with FSC standards. “Stakeholders now understand the economic benefits that will come from the sale of forest products in international markets and, more than ever, they want to preserve the walnut forests,” Burhanov says.

Mariam Mattila

Products, processing and packaging Walnut season lasts for only one month each year. To sustain livelihoods, other non-timber products are also covered by FSC certification, including apricots, pistachios, almonds, apples, rosehips, barberries, sea buckthorn, hawthorn, valerian and honey. FSC certified smallholders from the Jalalabad region (52 families living on only 312 hectares) collect more than 14 different NTFP’s, which are then transported to a small manufacturing site owned by KAFLU, where they are

processed into a variety of products including oils, dried fruits and juices. SILK ROAD TASTE™ is the official brand created by the KAFLU to promote these NTFPs. At the moment, the range of products includes dried fruits (10-12 species), mineral water, honey, mushrooms and much more. The range of products is constantly updated and expanded.

Mariam Mattila


Publishing House Positive LLC (FSC-C137541) is the first FSC-certified printer in Central Asia and supplies FSC certified packaging for walnuts and dried fruits sold under the SILK ROAD TASTE™ brand.

Engaging smallholders In 2015 a certification pilot project was implemented with the tenants of the walnut-fruit zone of the Kyzyl-Ungur, Kara-Almin and Toskol-Ata leshozes (forest units), to train the relevant leshozes of the Jalal-Abad region. Community leader, Samidinova Jamilidina says; “We were one of the first to decide to accept it [certification] in our jamaat (community).”  With the help of KAFLU, FSC and a number of FSC consultants, “we local tenants began to understand what certification is and how to implement it in the walnut-fruit forests,” says Jamilidina. “It is important for us, the local population, now we understand certification.” Duyshobaeva Tunuk, leader of the women’s cooperative 'Buck' says; “We have brought together 12 local women to teach local women how to process forest products. Thanks to the training of the Association, we learn how to process them, and establish a supply chain of products.” “Our jamaat used to use traditional methods of drying forest fruits and berries (apples, prunes, dog-rose, and barberry) earlier during processing. Now, with the support of FSC through the Association, which provided us with a drying cabinet, a packing machine, an equipment for accurate weighing of products, we began to use modern means of processing forest products. We plan to produce products for export next year. We hope that our products will go to markets and be labelled with FSC trademark.” 8

A fruitful future Nikolay Shmatkov, director of WWF Russia’s Forest Program, which has supported the project, says; “We believe that the first certificate obtained will cause interest in FSC certification from many other producers and consumers of food and non-timber products in the region and, most importantly, create additional economic incentives for responsible forest management in Asia, where they have the most important social and environmental significance.”

But, unfortunately, despite the hard work in the forest people either cannot sell harvested product, mostly nuts, or traders pay them very little. The Kyrgyz Association of Forest and Land users saw in the FSC certification system a way out. “We believe that in the near future FSC certified nuts from Kyrgyzstan will be in demand on the market and will bring the long-awaited development to the rural areas of this beautiful country”. FSC’s Mariam Mattila concludes; “This project is crucial for Central Asia and Caucasus countries as an example to learn from and improve. We hope this first experience will be a fruitful start to FSC certification for smallholders in the region.” For more information, please contact FSC Regional Market Development Manager for CIS countries, Mariam Mattila,

Roman Verin, Director NEPCon Russia and CIS, Deputy Business Development Director summarises; “We saw the nut forests of Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2015 for the first time. It is impossible to forget the beauty of the local nature. But the main thing which conquered us was local people and with what kind of love they treated the surrounding small forests. These forests are the only source of income for many rural residents.

Walnuts (Juglans spp) Walnuts contain good fats (e.g. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs)) and are a good source of omega-3. They also contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins.

Almonds (Prunus dulcis) Did you know? Almonds are not actually nuts, they are the seeds of the almond fruit. Almonds are a great source of fibre and protein, and contain important nutrients including vitamin E, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, especially folate and biotin (vitamin B7).

Dried Rosehips (Rosa canina) Roses have traditionally been used in the preparation of foods, medicines, cosmetics, and perfumes. Rosehips contain more vitamin C than oranges, by weight, and have antioxidant, astringent, anti-viral, and diuretic properties.

Mountain Honey Mountain honey is one of the most valuable and highly-prized varieties of honey. The bees collect nectar from wild mountain herbs and flowers, which give the product its unique flavour. 9

Product Focus

Carbon Gold Biochar Product name: Enriched Biochar Soil Improver, Tree Soil Improver, Biology Blend, Seed Compost & All Purpose Compost FSC label: FSC 100% Company name: Carbon Gold Ltd FSC licence number: FSC-C137682 Certified since: October 2017 Website:


arbon Gold’s enriched biochar soil improvers and composts are used by gardeners, growers and horticulturalists throughout Europe to grow healthier, more productive plants without the use of chemical fertilisers, fungicides and pesticides. In an industry under pressure to clean up its act, customers are increasingly turning to organic growing methods and, importantly, those that produce great results. Biochar is a highly porous, high carbon form of charcoal used to improve soil fertility, nutrition and structure. Our biochar is produced from FSC-certified, sustainably sourced waste woody biomass collected from the removal of invasive plant species. This is kiln baked at a low temperature with a restricted supply of oxygen – a process called pyrolysis.


Biochar brings soils to life. Thanks to its microscopic honeycomb-like structure, it provides the perfect habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms to flourish. Biochar also acts like a sponge, significantly improving the waterholding capacity of soils, lessening the risk of drought and flooding and reducing water usage. We enrich raw biochar with multiple strains of plant loving mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria and trace minerals to produce blends that are proven to significantly improve the health and vitality of trees, turf, flowers, fruit and veg. Not only is biochar good for plants, it’s great for the planet too. Incorporating one tonne of biochar into the soil is the same as locking three tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the earth. As biochar can remain in the soil for hundreds if not thousands of years, this has important implications for reducing atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, including nitrous oxide and methane, enabling a positive impact on climate change. Our FSC certification is essential to Carbon Gold’s brand ethos, aims and values – it complements our internationally recognised organic credentials and enhances customer confidence in a uniquely clean, green, sustainably sourced product that has a positive environmental impact. It’s an endorsement we are exceptionally proud to have, and one that we’re not shy of shouting about. Carbon Gold products can be purchased from a variety of retail and trade stockists including Sarah Raven, Mr Fothergills, The Organic Gardening Catalogue, Crocus and from the Carbon Gold online store


MATTERS? Are you an FSC certificate or licence holder in the UK? If so, you can feature your case study, article or product focus in Forest Matters - and it’s FREE! Take advantage of this valuable opportunity to let our readers know about your business, and how holding a certificate or licence benefits both you and the world’s forests!

Basic Guidelines: • Case study or relevant feature: 600 - 800 words and 3 photos • Product Focus: 300 words plus 2 photos

For more information and detailed guidelines, contact us on 01686 413 916 or email


Get to know… FSC Finland Operating in a country with a thriving timber export industry, 78% boreal forest coverage, the world’s largest (and FSC-certified) sauna, and one of Europe’s few indigenous peoples; FSC Finland has a lot to keep it busy. FSC Finland, Feb 2018 – Annika Nuotiomäki, Eveliina Puhakka, Mari Koistinen, Anniina Kostilainen, Lauri Ilola and Laura Kauppila-Jaatinen


nniina Kostilainen started as the Director of FSC Finland office in July 2012 and was then the only employee of FSC Finland. Now there are five parttime employees and one employee paid by the hour at the office. “We hope to forward many projects this year. However, many are rather challenging, like the issues concerning controlled wood. Luckily we have excellent contacts to many NGOs and companies,” said Anniina.

Finnish forests and family owners Finnish forests have several defining features; boreal, semi-natural forest covers 78% of the land area and there is an obligation to regenerate, which means there’s a requirement to plant seedlings to grow a new stand within a reasonable time after felling. There are also large protected areas, with around 5.7% of the Finnish forest being permanently protected from forestry activities. The protected areas are mainly found in the northernmost part of the country with some natural parks in the south. In addition, there is a voluntary forest protection programme, aimed at private forest owners in southern Finland, on-going until 2025. Some 61,000 hectares have already been protected under this programme. 12

Family forest owners hold 53% of forestry land, and in 2016, 70 million cubic metres of stemwood were harvested in Finland. Today, approximately 8% of forests in Finland are FSC-certified. Anniina said: “When the certification procedures for family forest owners are made easier and the awareness among forest owners increases, this figure is sure to grow. Collaboration with forestry companies is also very important. They have contacts with forest owners and they manage the group certificates.”

Working together Last year, FSC Finland was a major player in reaching the global strategic partnership agreement between UPM and FSC International. “This was a big thing for us”, said Anniina. “Another great success was, in 2016, the first FSC project certificated project in Scandinavia, the construction of the restaurant and public sauna Löyly in Helsinki. The project has also been the centre of considerable international attention, and the Löyly building has won various architecture awards.”

Revision and promotion FSC Finland staff in Helsinki are currently busy working on several projects including the revision of their forestry standard and controlled wood risk assessment. Luckily the Finnish FSC members are very active and committed to the projects. As Finland is one of the few European countries with indigenous peoples (the Sámi), the work

includes an interesting factor of taking into account their potential to continue practicing their age-old livelihood of reindeer herding. Anniina said; “The biggest projects are CNRA, standard revision process and facilitating the certification of family forest owners and contractors. “In addition, one of our focus areas is increasing the general visibility and awareness of FSC. In Finland, FSC is still relatively unknown to an average consumer, but it is getting more known by day. Companies and forest owners are also increasingly interested in FSC certification.”

All images ©FSC Finland


Forest Focus

Revised UK forest management standard published by FSC A revised national forest stewardship standard for the UK is now publicly available from the FSC UK and FSC International websites.


he standard was conditionally approved by FSC’s Policy and Standards Committee in April 2017. The approval conditions were closed in December 2017, and the standard has now been published following agreement on its effective date; the standard will become effective for FSC forest management certification in the UK on 1 April 2018. “It’s wonderful to reach this milestone,” says FSC UK Executive Director Rosie Teasdale, “and testament to the constructive attitude and energy of all involved both in the UK and in FSC International.” The approved UK national forest stewardship standard sets requirements for UK forest management in the context of FSC’s international Principles and Criteria. The standard is familiar to most forest managers as the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, or UKWAS, which presents the same requirements as the FSC Principles and Criteria ordered version in a more user-friendly format. “UK forest management certificate holders need to be aware that the Principles and Criteria ordered version of the national standard is the formal basis for auditing and decision making, and in case of any dispute that version will be considered definitive,” notes Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. “But certificate holders are free to use the UKWAS version day to day and in their discussions with auditors. The standard was written with the UKWAS format in mind, which is great news in terms of the usability of the UKWAS version, but does unfortunately mean that it’s not the easiest read when presented in Principles and Criteria order!” UKWAS is unusual in that it is used as the national forest standard by both FSC and PEFC. The PEFC endorsement process is still ongoing, but the standard is expected to become effective for both schemes at the same time. At that point, the UKWAS website will be relaunched with the new version of the standard, UKWAS 4. In the meantime, the final draft approved by FSC can be accessed via the current UKWAS documents page. Current and potential FSC forest management certificate holders in the UK can learn more about the


relationship between the FSC and UKWAS versions of the national standard in the FSC UK factsheet Forest Management Standards in the UK. They can also read about the process of transitioning to the new standard, along with a summary of some of the main changes to the standard requirements, in the factsheet Moving to the New FSC Forest Stewardship Standard. If you have any specific questions about the new standard, please contact Owen at

Public consultation open; is UK sourced wood low risk? A public consultation is now open, running from 19 February to 20 April, on a revised controlled wood national risk assessment for the United Kingdom.


n Forest Matters January 2018 we told you that a public consultation on a revised controlled wood national risk assessment for the UK had been delayed by further work on our national forest stewardship standard. As you will have read, we are delighted to announce that our national standard has now been approved and published by FSC, and we are now able to move ahead with the planned consultation. As a quick reminder, in addition to raw material from FSC-certified forests, products carrying the FSC Mix label may contain a proportion of reclaimed/recycled wood or material from other controlled sources. When considering these other controlled sources, i.e. wood which is neither from FSC certified forests nor reclaimed/recycled, we need to be confident that any such wood originating in the UK is from acceptable sources.

This risk assessment is now being revised in line with FSC-PRO-60-002 V3-0 EN The Development and Approval of FSC National Risk Assessments and FSC-PRO-60-002a V1-0 EN FSC National Risk Assessment Framework. In the FSC National Risk Assessment Framework you will find full details of the indicators and thresholds used to determine whether there is low or specified risk for each of the five controlled wood categories.

Low risk, not no risk As we mentioned in the January edition, the difference between FSC-certified wood and controlled wood is that FSC-certified wood has been independently confirmed to come from forests responsibly managed according to FSC’s standards, whereas controlled wood has been judged, on the basis of a risk assessment, to be at a low risk of coming from some particularly undesirable sources. But note that the risk designations for the different controlled wood categories are low risk or specified risk, not no risk; we can manage risk through the controlled wood system, but we cannot eliminate it. The great benefit of FSC certification is the assured positive change it brings to forest management. © FSC Germany / Christian Beuter

The FSC controlled wood system is designed to ensure that there is a low risk of material from unacceptable sources being included in FSC labelled products. The five controlled wood categories are:

• • • • •

Illegally harvested wood;  ood harvested in violation of traditional and human W rights; Wood from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by management activities; Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; and Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.

The rules governing the use of controlled material are set out in the FSC standard FSC-STD-40-005 V3-1 EN Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood. An important element of the FSC controlled wood system is the assessment of risk related to the origin of material for each controlled wood category. It is for this reason that FSC UK maintains a national risk assessment for the whole of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The existing risk assessment concludes that there is a low risk of UK sourced wood coming from any of the five unacceptable sources listed above.

The draft risk assessment has been prepared by external consultants and a six member working group (with equal representation of economic, environmental and social interests), with FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies acting as Coordinator. It takes into account a broad range of evidence, but to ensure that the assessment is robust we are inviting your comments and further evidence. We have also made available the draft National High Conservation Value Framework for the UK, which is important to the interpretation of controlled wood category 3. You can access the consultation documents via the FSC UK website. The public consultation will run from 19 February to 20 April, and during that time you can submit your comments directly to Owen, either by e-mail ( or via the FSC UK postal address. Please be aware that all comments will be published in a consultation report unless you request confidentiality. Once the public consultation is closed, feedback will be analysed and the draft risk assessment will be further revised if necessary. We expect to submit a final draft and consultation report to FSC International at the beginning of July, and anticipate formal approval of the risk assessment in September. If after that time you have any further comments or evidence in relation to the controlled wood risk assessment, do continue to send them to FSC UK; we will keep a record of stakeholder comments and review the document at least once every five years.


FSC-certified snowboards at the Winter Olympics Responsibly sourced timber can be anywhere, even under your feet. This has been the case for some of the world’s top snowboarders on the slopes of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.


hloe Kim, Halfpipe gold medallist, Red Gerard Slopestyle gold medallist, Mark McMorris Slopestyle bronze medallist and Anna Gasser Big Air gold medallist, are just some of the snowboarders who rode to victory on FSC-certified Burton Snowboards (FSC-C124994). 100% of Burton’s snowboard cores are made from responsibly harvested wood that meets FSC standards. Their Austrian snowboard factory, which produces roughly half of their snowboards, sources almost all of their materials within a 250-mile radius, makes their own snowboard cores from FSC-certified wood, and then uses scrap wood to heat the factory and run all of the presses. They recycle sidewall and base scrap materials and recycle the water used in production in a closed loop process which reduces water usage by 50%. This is not the first time that responsible sourcing has been on the main stage at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. If not for its status as an FSC-certified project, the millions of people who passed through the London 2012 Olympic Park (FSC-P001512) may not have realised they were walking past, through and over responsibly sourced timber structures. A whopping 98% of the timber in the Olympic village (FSC-P001729) came from FSC-certified sources and more than two-thirds of the timber used in construction of the park as a whole. Commitments to responsible sourcing were made four years later for the Rio Olympics. FSC Brazil and the Organising Committee of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games agreed that all wood and forest-based products purchased by the


Jesse Dawson

Committee be certified. This included temporary structures, furniture, communication materials and stationery. As the Olympics have grown to be a beacon for sustainability and responsible sourcing, it has also developed into a platform for brands to show their responsible actions. Burton took the opportunity and communicated their responsible practices to the world with FSC certification on the slopes of Pyeongchang 2018. As more people pay attention to corporate responsibility, companies have the opportunity to seize people’s interests with their certification, just like Burton have.

Jesse Dawson

Gabel Heureux Main image Gabel Heureux


International case study

Bunun tribe becomes first indigenous community to achieve FSC certification in Taiwan and the greater China region By Laura Terrall, Director of RA-Cert

“Forest and mountain are our home, it is where our ancestors and we live, where we hunt and will teach our children how to hunt. There is no reason for our Bunun people not to protect the mountains and forests.” With these remarks the assessment conducted by Rainforest Alliance, an FSC-accredited certification body, was opened in January 2017 by Pai Kwang Sheng, Pastor of the Bunun Tribe in southern Taiwan. The positive audit outcome was the first-ever achievement of FSC Certification by an indigenous community in Taiwan and the greater China region – an important milestone for the Bunun tribe, for the country, and for sustainable forestry. As with many tribal and community enterprises, the Bunun have been seeking ways to manage their natural resources and provide sustainable livelihoods for their people while marketing products derived from their forest. Achievement of FSC certification is an important step in their vision to protect their beautiful mountain environment 18

and preserve their local culture while creating economic opportunities for their community. Historically, the tribal communities had a difficult time adjusting and finding ways to fit in a commercial society. A tribal pastor, Pai Kwang Sheng and his family returned to the Yanping village in 1984 to find a solution for his people the Bunun tribe. He established a church and community center where educational services could be provided as means to support development of the people, and after several years started a kindergarten to offer the first early education in the village. In 1995, Pastor Pai wanted to bring more economic viability to his community and established the Bunun Cultural and Educational Foundation to provide economic means for the tribe. The foundation’s retreat grounds include tribal farms, restaurants sourcing local ingredients, a hostel, conference facilities, weaving shop, cultural classes and a bamboo factory. The latest achievement in this carefully managed development of the Bunun is the FSC certification of its

and expanded to other tribes to demonstrate the forests can be successfully managed to achieve sustainability and a better economy for the people. The certified area in the scope of the Ai-Nun certificate (RA-FM/COC-00764) may only be 28.48ha, but it has an outsized impact on forest certification in Taiwan. It sets an example for other indigenous communities in the region and demonstrates that tribes with increased oversight of forest management can responsibly manage natural resources, adhering to the internationally recognised certification programs of the FSC and the Rainforest Alliance. Authored and first published by the Rainforest Alliance

bamboo forest. FSC certification provides international recognition of tribal management of a renewable resource and provides a market niche for the first certified bamboo in Taiwan. The bamboo is harvested and manufactured by the community into many products such as: bamboo vinegar (extract) used in soaps and other products, bamboo charcoal used for fuel and filtering water, crafts and souvenirs, textiles, and construction materials.

The Bunun sought FSC certification to demonstrate to the government and other stakeholders that the tribe has the means and expertise to manage their forest and enterprise. The certification process evaluates many areas across environmental and social criteria, and addresses the economic viability of the operation to ensure there are long-term management plans. A local advocate for indigenous peoples, Professor Liu, helped to facilitate the certification process for Bunun as part of his work to advocate for Taiwan indigenous communities. He feels strongly that FSC certification will bring this recognition for the Bunun tribe, and this can be promoted

All images ŠRainforest Alliance


FSC in numbers 2,336 Chain of Custody certificates in the UK 1,611,215 hectares of FSC certified forest in the UK 33,841 Chain of Custody certificates worldwide 200,138,102 hectares of FSC certified forest worldwide Latest figures from FSC IC. Correct as of 5 March 2018. The full list of figures can be viewed at

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) UK is a charity dedicated to promoting responsible forestry. For more information about FSC UK: The Billiard Room, Town Hall, Great Oak Street Llanidloes Powys, SY18 6BN 01686 413916

Charity number: 1130203 FSC® F000231

Gabel Heureux

Forest Matters March/April 2018  
Forest Matters March/April 2018