FSC protecting Intact Forest Landscapes
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded 20 years ago to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests, without compromising their health for future generations.
Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are the world's remaining large unfragmented forest areas undisturbed by roads and industrial development. They have extremely important conservation value as they store a disproportionately high amount of global forest carbon, are large enough to sustain their biological diversity, and are critical for the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples living within and adjacent to them. They are large enough to host both far-ranging top predators as well as other wildlife, and enable many plant and animal species to adapt to climate change. They also provide crucial ecosystem services such as regulating water and nutrient cycles.
The values and ecosystem services that IFLs provide are being exposed to severe and often irreversible damage when fragmented and/or destroyed through continued expansion of industrial logging and its infrastructure. Most deforestation begins with logging, roadbuilding and fragmentation.
FSC has taken the bold step of committing to the protection of IFLs. Greenpeace congratulates FSC for this important commitment, which distinguishes it from other forest certification systems. IFL protection, which will be in place by the end of 2016, will be a major step toward meaningful forest stewardship worldwide.