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 conservation. 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.
By following the seven steps of the Ecosystem Services Procedure, forest managers can demonstrate how their management practices conserve or restore valuable forest ecosystem services. The Procedure aims to bring monetary and non-monetary benefits to those who actively support the responsible management of the world’s forests and ecosystem services.
Photo credits: Forestry South Africa