Sustainable Forest Management

The stewardship and use of forests and forest land in a way and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national and global levels and does not cause damage to other ecosystems. 

Sustainable forest management (SFM) has been, since the UNCED in Rio in 1992, a leading concept in international deliberations and work. The result today is a broad consensus on principles, guidelines, criteria and indicators for SFM on international governmental level. One such process is the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), ongoing process in which hundreds of experts from a very wide range of stakeholder groups have been involved. Other similar intergovernmental processes, which can serve as a basis for the development of forest certification schemes are:
Montreal process

•Near East Process, Lepaterique Process,
•Regional Initiative of Dry Forests in Asia,
•ITTO Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural
   Tropical Forests, 
•Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management in Dry-zone
•Tarapoto Proposal: Criteria and Indicators for the Sustainable
   Management of Amazonian Forests,
•African Timber Organization Principles, Criteria and Indicators for
•Management of Natural Forests

For the forest certification purposes, each country develops in a broad multi-stakeholder process its own national (or regional) standard for sustainable forest management based on the MCPFE guidelines or other intergovernmental processes promoting SFM, the national laws and regulations and the core International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and other international conventions ratified by the country in question such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, Kyoto Protocol, Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and the Flora and Biosafety Protocol.

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