FSC is an international membership association, governed by its members. 

These members may be organizational – which means that they represent their institution or organization – or individual. Members are from diverse backgrounds and include representatives of environmental and social non-governmental organizations, the timber trade, forestry organizations, indigenous people's organizations, community forestry groups, retailers and manufacturers, and forest certification organizations, as well as individual forest owners and interested parties. 

Voting FSC Members


Members apply to join one of three chambers – environmental, social and economic – which are further sub-divided into northern and southern sub-chambers.Each chamber holds 33.3% of the weight in votes; and within each chamber votes are weighted to ensure that north and south each hold 50% of the votes. 

This guarantees that influence is shared equitably between different interest groups and levels of economic power.

FSC is based on three Levels of Decision Making :

  • The General Assembly of Members that is FSC's highest decision-making body. Motions are proposed by one member, and seconded by two more, voted on by members, weighted according to the north-south chamber structure.
  • FSC Board of Directors that is accountable to the FSC members. It is made up of nine elected representatives, with three elected from each of the chambers for a three-year term.
  • A Director General who is leading a multicultural professional team at the FSC International Center in Bonn, Germany. In collaboration with the Global Network, the Director General runs FSC on a day-to-day basis.