FSC’s global vision for responsible forest management, articulated through our international Principles and Criteria, is at the heart of everything we do for the world’s forests.
However, that vision has to be broad enough to apply to every type of forest in every country; that’s one of the main reasons we have national or regional forest stewardship standards, to set out the specific things we need to do in pursuit of that vision in a particular local context.
Driven in large part by our work on our own national forest stewardship standard – familiar to most forest managers as the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, or UKWAS – FSC UK has identified the need for a clearer vision for UK forests to guide us at the country level.
The Principles and Criteria remain fundamental to our work, but to do our jobs well we need to have a definite sense of what they should lead to for our particular sorts of woodlands, in our particular economic, environmental and social context. In short, if everyone embraced the spirit of the FSC Principles and Criteria, what should the UK’s forests look like before the end of this century?
We believe that a clear vision for UK forests will help us to be more impactful in our work, more relevant and powerful in our advocacy and communication, and better able to inspire everyone in the UK to strive towards a common vision of Forests For All Forever.
The FSC system is based on democracy and transparency, and the process to develop a vision for UK forests will be no different.
As the vision is intended specifically to guide the work of FSC UK, it will be drafted by staff and the decision on the final form of words will be taken by the FSC UK Board of Directors, representing economic, environmental and social interests.
Before we reach that point, though, we want to take into account the views of the widest possible range of FSC members, certificate holders and other stakeholders in the UK.
In the discussion paper we’ve shared some of our initial thoughts, including those gathered at the 2022 FSC UK Annual Members’ Meeting, on the potential form, contents and timescale of a vision. Now we want to hear yours.
We’d love to hear what you think about the themes we’ve already identified – how important they are, and what we should say about them – but also about any other themes you think we should consider.
If we find there is broad agreement on a particular theme, we will draft wording accordingly. If there isn’t agreement, we will host topic specific discussions to try to build understanding and consensus.
All of this will feed into a draft vision which will be open for public consultation before the FSC UK Board makes a decision on the final version.
You can also contact the FSC UK team any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.