Intact Forest landscapes

Intact forest landscapes (IFLs) are the last remaining large unfragmented forest areas, undisturbed by roads or other industrial infrastructure, in which there has been no industrial harvesting in the past 30-50 years. Most IFLs consist of dense and open forest (81 per cent) with the remainder being swamps, rocky terrain, grasslands, rivers, lakes, etc. IFLs occur in 60 countries, and 65 per cent of the world’s total IFL area is concentrated in Canada, Russia and Brazil.

FSC Intact Forest Landscapes
FSC GD / Arturo Escobar

Relevance of IFLs

Intact forest landscapes are the last remaining areas of forest that are untouched by modern development and are critical for the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples. They also:

  • contain a disproportionally high share of global forest carbon;
  • are large enough to sustain complete systems of biological diversity;
  • are large enough to host top predators as well as other critical wildlife and species at risk;
  • allow continued evolution;
  • provide crucial ecosystem services, such as regulating water and nutrient cycles.

Motion 65 & Motion 34

In the FSC General Assembly, held in Seville in 2014, FSC members passed Motion 65 to “'ensure the implementation of Principle 9 and the protection of intact forest landscapes". Commissioned by the membership, FSC International started the process to implement the new requirements into the International Generic Indicators (IGI) Version No. 2 which was approved in 2018.

The General Assembly in 2017 asked FSC to "enable the conducting of regional assessments of the short and long-term impacts – positive and negative – of the management and protection measures associated with the implementation of Motion 65/2014 and the International Generic Indicators (IGI)". 

FSC established a process and minimum requirements for the implementation of the Motion, prioritizing the work in the key locations of Russia, Canada, Congo Basin and Brazil/Amazon. The work on this assessment will be done through standard development groups in those priority countries and regions, before the end of 2020.

Documents

External resources on IFLs

An IFL is a territory within today's global extent of forest cover which contains forest and non-forest ecosystems minimally influenced by human economic activity, with an area of at least 500 km2 (50,000 ha) and a minimal width of 10 km (measured as the diameter of a circle that is entirely inscribed within the boundaries of the territory). (Source: Intact Forests / Global Forest Watch).

The overview of where the remaining IFLs are can be found in the Global Forest Watch maps

Besides these maps, Global Forest Watch also provides weekly alerts on new canopy openings in pantropical regions here

Frequently Asked Questions on the Advice Note for Motion 65.pdf
PDF, Size: 1.01MB
Draft FSC-STD-60-004 V1-1 EN International Generic Indicators.pdf
PDF, Size: 1.36MB
FSC-DIR-20-007_EN_FM_Evaluations_2017_01_02.pdf
PDF, Size: 495.64KB
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