History of FSC

Concerned about accelerating deforestation, environmental degradation and social exclusion, a group of timber users, traders and representatives of environmental and human rights organisations met in California in 1990.

Tropical Forest Africa

This diverse group highlighted the need for a system that could credibly identify well-managed forests as the sources of responsibly produced wood products. The concept of FSC and the name were coined at this meeting.

It was another two years before the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development – the Earth Summit – was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The Earth Summit produced no legally binding commitments on forest management, but it did result in Agenda 21 and the non-legally binding Forest Principles. And crucially it provided a forum for many non-governmental organisations to come together and gather support for the innovative idea of a non-governmental, independent and international forest certification scheme.

Following intensive consultations in ten countries to build support for the idea of a worldwide certification system, the FSC Founding Assembly was held in Toronto, Canada in 1993.

The FSC Secretariat opened in Oaxaca, Mexico and the FSC was established as a legal entity in Mexico in February 1994. The FSC Secretariat relocated to Bonn, Germany in 2003.

FSC now has 27 years of existence and more than 1000 members in 89 countries with offices in 47 countries. With a staff of more than 250 employees, FSC has issued a total of more than 48.000 Chain of Custody (CoC) certificates and above 1,800 FM/CoC certificates as of August 1st 2021. For updated FSC Facts and Figures go here.

To this day, 1,307 trademark and promotional licenses have been signed.

The next General Assembly will be held in October 2021 virtually due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A second General Assembly will be held in Bali, Indonesia in 2022. For all information on FSC General Assembly go to the FSC members portal.