FSC Portugal (Forest Stewardship Council)
Forest Stewardship Council® is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management.
A pioneering group of individuals, NGOs and companies, with the aim of avoiding deforestation through a market solution, achieved the certification of more than 230 million hectares in the world, which represents about 23% of the wood produced industrially worldwide.
In Portugal, FSC® has been represented since 2007 by the Association for Responsible Forestry Management (AGFR), which includes the main organizations in the national forestry sector and important players in other areas of activity, but which have in common the commitment to promote and implement sustainability and corporate responsibility policies.
The main objectives of AGFR are:
• Act as a local representative of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Portugal;
• Promote and disseminate the FSC forest certification system at national level;
• Adapt the international FSC Principles and Criteria to the national ecological and socio-economic context;
• Act in the resolution of conflicts of interpretation in forest certification standards, providing mechanisms for the resolution of disputes and participation in the pertinent decisions, in accordance with the rules of the FSC International;
• Promote professional training in the topics of forest certification;
• Promoting environmentally adequate, economically viable and socially responsible management of national and international forest areas;
• Stimulate, recognize and value projects aimed at sustainable growth and development.
Civil society's awareness of the importance of responsible forest management has led to an increase in demand for FSC certified products and, consequently, to the growing certification of forest areas.
Currently, Portugal has more than half a million hectares certified, corresponding to 35 forest management certificates and more than 500 chain of custody certificates, that are companies that transform, process or sell FSC certified products.
The success of forest certification also depends on the adherence and commitment of its members to FSC policies, which currently has 64 active members, distributed among the environmental, social and economic chambers.
The group of FSC members in Portugal is made up of representatives of environmental and social groups, forestry industry and other economic agents, organizations representing the corporate sector, communities and certication bodies, united in support of the common objective of seeing responsibly managed forests.