The Forest Stewardship Council® promotes responsible forest management and provides a globally-recognised and trusted labeling scheme for timber and timber products.
The Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC®) global forest certification system enables consumers to identify, purchase and use timber and timber products produced from well-managed forests that ensure resource rights and income for forest-dependent people.
FSC’s “tick tree” logo is used on product labels to indicate whether products are certified.
In Tanzania, Sound and Fair partner, Mpingo Conservation and Development, facilitates the establishment of FSC certification in forest communities.
The first step is for communities to organise themselves under Participatory Forest Management rules as Village Land Forest Reserves.
Once these legal boundaries are in place, Village Land Forest Reserves undergo a period of preparation for certification involving the establishment of institutional structures and capacity for managing the forest in a responsible way and ensuring the fair treatment of all members of the community.
Once these conditions have been met, the Village Land Forest Reserve becomes certified and any timber harvested can feature the Forest Stewardship Council logo.
Annual inspections are carried out subsequently to ensure that the rules are properly adhered to.
To date seven Village Land Forest Reserves have become certified:
- Kikole (454 hectares)
- Kisangi (1,966 hectares)
- Liwiti (6,229 hectares)
- Nainokwe (8,502 hectares)
- Tawi (2,787 hectares)
- Nyamwage (1,294 hectares)
- Nanjirinji (60,000 hectares)