Stora Enso's FSC group certification pilot project finalised
Helsinki 10/05/2005 10:00 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)
Stora Enso's pilot project to test FSC group certification (Forest Stewardship Council) in Finland was finalised in September. A group of three forest owners received FSC forest management certificates for a 10 000 hectare area located in southern Finland. The pilot project was unique in Finland: it was the first FSC group certification, the first extensive FSC certification and the first certification applying the national draft FSC standard.
Currently, over 95% of Finnish forests are certified according to PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes), which is also supported by Stora Enso. Stora Enso sees that the current PEFC certification is well suited to Finnish family forestry. The Group also supports FSC certification in Finland according to its forest certification principles. Stora Enso has joined in the Finnish FSC Association to create better balance between ecological, social and economic aspects of FSC certification and to promote dialogue between forest certification systems.
Stora Enso initiated the pilot project to obtain information on the applicability, costs and development needs of FSC group certification and the Finnish draft FSC standard. One of the targets was also to promote dialogue between forest certification systems through double certification. In the long run, Stora Enso hopes to have one national standard in Finland, which both FSC and PEFC could endorse.
The forest owners involved in the pilot project are: private forest owner Elsa Fromond, Ferraria Oy Ab (a Fiskars Oyj Abp subsidiary) and the City of Lahti. Stora Enso Wood Supply administrates the group. In order to create more options in forest certification, Stora Enso will continue to improve the FSC know-how of its employees and forest owners through training. Stora Enso is also ready to invite other Finnish forest owners to join the FSC group certification, when expedient.
"The first comparisons showed that implementing FSC certification does not usually require changes in forest management principles compared to current forest certification practises. However, the requirement to set aside 5% of a forest regardless of conservation values is a clear difference to PEFC certification", describes Kåre Pihlström, Forest Manager of Fiskars.
In the pilot project, the costs of FSC certification were high compared to the current forest certification system. In addition to improving cost effectiveness, development needs were also identified in improving applicability at a practical level, as well as in balancing ecological, social and economic aspects. At the moment, the Finnish FSC draft standard emphasizes ecological and social criteria.
"WWF is delighted that the FSC alternative has arrived in Finnish forestry", says Harri Karjalainen from WWF Finland. "FSC improves the biodiversity in commercial forests by securing even better than before the valuable habitats and by softening the logging practises", Karjalainen continues. "Stora Enso's membership in the Finnish FSC Association and the pilot project are very welcomed steps towards co-operation that is beneficial for all parties", comments Professor Tari Haahtela, Chairman of the Finnish FSC Association.
For further information, please contact:
Susanna Rissanen, Sustainability Manager, Stora Enso Wood Supply Finland, tel. +358 40 594 2832
Pekka Kallio-Mannila, Environmental Manager, Stora Enso Wood Supply Finland, tel. +358 40 754 0243