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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1995
WHAT IS TIMBER CERTIFICATION, THAT WE SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF IT?

J H Sandom
ODA FORM Project, Forest Department

Over the last 30 years global deforestation and the despoiling of the world's forest resources has been a major source of concern.

In the fight against the abuse and misuse of the world's forests there have been few conspicuous successes. Where they have occurred the successes tend to be small scale and localized and consequently have not contributed significantly to arresting the decline in the world's forests or improving their management.

Independent certification of forests and timber has been promoted as a new and radically different approach to the problem that may offer a better chance of success. It recognizes that forests will be 'utilized' and offers practical guidelines for the management of forest and what should comprise good practice.

After a brief description of its origins and history the paper details the aims and objectives of certification and how it will work. It describes the standards and criteria that will be adopted as the basis for certification. It also discusses the dual role of the Forest Stewardship Council: in laying down standards and criteria that are recognized and accepted internationally and as the body responsible for coordinating and overseeing the individual certifying organizations. Finally the paper examines some of the problems and difficulties that certification is likely to face in the future.



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