Tuesday, 01 March 2016
ForCES Project Extended Until December 2016
An extension of the Forest Certification of Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project was announced during the project’s fifth annual meeting, held in Edinburgh, United Kingdom in November. Participants welcomed the extension, and during the meeting agreed an action plan for the final year of the project.
Within the ForCES project, FSC and its partner organizations analyze and field test innovative ways to evaluate and reward the protection of critical ecosystem services, such as biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, and carbon storage. The outputs of the project are being taken into consideration by FSC in its development of new tools that will assist FSC certificate holders to access ecosystem services markets.
The project started in 2011 and was scheduled to finish in September 2015, with the following main components:
- developing an FSC national standard
- achieving FSC forest management certification
- evaluating the impact of forest management according to FSC requirements
- testing benefit models, including access to ecosystem services markets
- establishing a benefit sharing system in order to share the incomes that will be received from these markets.
An extension was sought because more time was needed to understand ecosystem service markets, which are still relatively new, and the best way to offer value to these markets. Representatives of all partners and members of the international steering committee were happy with the extra time granted. They took advantage of meeting in person in Edinburgh to update each other on their progress, share successful ideas that served as inspiration to others, and clarify outstanding doubts about the remaining activities. The main output of the meeting was an action plan with specific points for each partner, and a timeline for all remaining activities in the months to come.
The atmosphere of the meeting was very positive. All participants agreed the extension was necessary, and felt confident that the remaining tasks could be implemented within the extended timeline of the project. As Chris Henschel – ForCES Project Director and Ecosystem Services Programme Manager at FSC – explained, “we have left the meeting with a strong plan, and specific action points to guide us during the final months. Partners now have a clear path for completing the project.”
About the project
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is the lead agency for the ForCES project, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility, and has the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Center for International Forestry Research as international partners. These organizations are partnered at national level by implementing institutions WWF Indonesia, Netherlands Development Organization (Vietnam), the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (Nepal), and FSC Chile.