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FSC Certification addressing deforestation

December 9, 2015

Contact: John Hontelez, Chief Advocacy Officer,

Global rates of deforestation, and the related environmental and social impacts, are alarming, particularly in tropical countries. Deforestation is also undermining efforts to combat climate change and protect global biodiversity.

Deforestation has several causes. The expansion of agriculture is the major cause, and infra-structure and urban development contribute, but damaging forestry practices are also rele-vant.

More and more companies that use agricultural or forest commodities are committing to ‘defor-estation-free’ policies. For agricultural commodities, deforestation-free sourcing may be suffi-cient, but for companies using commodities from forests, ensuring that there are policies that prevent forest degradation is at least as important. A recent report by the Prince’s Charity1 con-cludes that tropical deforestation is responsible for 8 per cent of current anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, but that tropical forest degradation is responsible for 6–14 per cent of such emissions!

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