Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services (water, carbon, biodiversity, soil, and recreational services) are the benefits that we obtain from nature. They provide society with a wide range of benefits, from reliable flows of clean water to productive soil and carbon sequestration. In 2018, FSC introduced a procedure which aims to reward those who responsibly manage forests, thereby preserving ecosystem services.

FSC Ecosystem Services / swissmediavision
FSC Ecosystem Services For Business

For Businesses

When your business collaborates with FSC, you invest in the preservation of ecosystem services, and you are given the tools to demonstrate this impact.

FSC Forest Management

For Forest Managers & Certification Bodies

FSC will provide you with tools to navigate the Ecosystem Services Procedure with confidence, so that your positive impacts are verified.

Forest Ecosystems

FSC has been taking care of the world’s forests for more than two decades, helping to ensure that forests and their ecosystem services are responsibly managed. Building on existing world-renowned certification, we are developing new tools that will show businesses, investors and governments that these natural benefits are being preserved, and will incentivize participating FSC certificate holders for doing so.

Creating incentives for the protection of forest ecosystems

FSC-certified forest management already requires the protection of ecosystem services. The new tools that we are developing can be used by businesses and governments to demonstrate the impact their purchases, payments and investments have on preserving ecosystem services.

As rates of deforestation increase globally, FSC is developing tools to promote ecosystem services payments. These are an alternative incentive model to the short-term economic benefits of forest degradation for those not yet FSC certified, and an added economic support for FSC certificate holders already managing their forests responsibly.

The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure

The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure provides new tools to strengthen incentives for the protection of ecosystem services.

  • Impact verification: The new FSC ecosystem services procedure provides a global approach that FSC certificate holders can use to demonstrate the impact of their forest management activities on ecosystem services;
  • Ecosystem Services Claims: Verified impacts give rise to FSC ecosystem services claims, which will provide governments, investors, buyers and businesses with assurance that the impacts they are paying for do preserve ecosystem services.

The ForCES Project

In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, FSC launched the five-year Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project in 2011 as an incentive for the preservation of valuable ecosystem services in responsibly managed forests. The aim of the project is to adopt FSC standards to emerging ecosystem services markets and target ecosystem services with present or future market potential.

The ForCES project was implemented and tested in several pilot sites, specifically in Chile, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam. The project finished in 2017. The report is available to download below.


FSC Ecosystem Services Strategy - 8/2015
PDF, Size: 1.86MB
ForCES report - 10/2017
PDF, Size: 7.16MB
ForCES Report Executive Summary - 2/2018
PDF, Size: 1.11MB
FSC Ecosystem Services factsheet 04-2018
PDF, Size: 245.35KB
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on CAB requirements for ecosystem services (Part V FSC-PRO-30-006)
PDF, Size: 625.97KB
Guidance for Demonstrating Ecosystem Services Impacts (FSC-GUI-30-006)
PDF, Size: 7.18MB
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