Problem Forest is one of the constituents of life on Earth. This is not just a source of raw material for humans. They create on-land habitat for more than 2/3 of known species of flora and fauna, they make a natural filter and purify the air, and contribute to climate stabilisation. The use of primitive, often barbaric logging technologies has led to forest degradation, loss of valuable forest lands. That’s why recently experts have been developing reduced impact logging and forestry techniques that fall under the concept of sustainable forest management. An important mechanism allowing to preserve forests is a voluntary forest certification. The certification scheme of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is well represented in the whole world. FSC is an independent international system of forest certification based on the principles of promoting environmentally responsible, community-focused and economically sustainable forest management and the management of global forest resources.
FSC is supported by the environmental community as it is a global system providing the assessment of forest management activities by an independent third party according to strict social, environmental and economic standards.Certified wood is monitored all the way from the logging site to the processing plant and the consumer, and guarantees the consumer the non-criminal origin of wood and its products which offers the buyer an opportunity to be sure that the product originates from responsibly managed forests. FSС certification process in Belarus began with the implementation in 2003 of the pilot project “Sustainable and environmentally determined forest management and forest utilisation: the case of Smorgonsky experimental leskhoz.” At the beginning of 2018, 90% of forests in Belarus are certified.
The peculiarity and one of the problems of forest certification in the Republic of Belarus are thin and passive stakeholders. The public – local residents, activists and NGOs – is a key stakeholder whose participation makes the certification system not a sheer formality, but a real mechanism of the ecologisation of forest management and forest conservation. To date, public involvement in forest certification in Belarus is a priority.
Objective Sustainable forest management in Belarus through the active participation of the public in FSC forest certification
Bahna NGOAPB BirdLife Belarus NGOGreen network Partnership
Duration Since 2015, as part of our activities we have actively participated as independent observers in the audits of FSC certification in the forests that comprise specially protected natural areas. We continue this work until now.
Target audience residents of Belarus, employees of the SEI and forestry agencies, the FSC national representative
Tools awareness raising, forest areas monitoring, counselling, participation in audits, seminars, roundtable discussions
Decision-making bodies Ministry of Forestry, Belarus-based auditing firms, the Council of Ministers