Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from nature. Forests provide society with a wide range of benefits, from reliable flows of clean water to productive soil and carbon sequestration. In FSC certified forests, valuable ecosystem services are protected – and in 2018, FSC introduced a procedure to demonstrate and communicate about the positive impact of responsible forest management on ecosystem services. These verified positive impacts aim to facilitate payments for ecosystem services and provide access to other benefits, thereby adding business value for those who responsibly manage forests and those who take action to preserve forest ecosystem services.
FSC strives to identify the best feasible approach to reduce the use of chemical pesticides in FSC-certified forests and plantations, and to prevent, minimise and mitigate the related environmental and social impacts.
From endemic species to sacred sites, all natural habitats – especially forests – inherit conservation values. Those biological, ecological, social or cultural values of outstanding significance are known as 'high conservation values,' or HCVs.
Intact forest landscapes (IFLs) are the last remaining large unfragmented forest areas, undisturbed by roads or other industrial infrastructure, in which there has been no industrial harvesting in the past 30-70 years. Most IFLs consist of dense and open forest (81 per cent) with the remainder being swamps, rocky terrain, grasslands, rivers, lakes, etc. IFLs occur in 60 countries, and 65 per cent of the world’s total IFL area is concentrated in Canada, Russia and Brazil.