Blog | 09/28/2023 05:38:57 | 2 min Read time

We want to better understand the impact of forest certification on biodiversity

Sakari Suuriniemi

Senior Manager, Global Forest Affairs at UPM

Last year, the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal agreed on a to halt biodiversity loss by 2030. The aim is to improve the conditions of species and habitats on land, inland waters and in the seas, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. The number of protected areas will also be increased globally, habitats will be restored, efforts will be made to halt the loss of species and invasive alien species will be controlled.

The enthusiasm of companies to find solutions to halt the biodiversity loss was palpable at the meeting. In many sectors, the impacts of operations on biodiversity have not been fully understood. While there is still a long way to go from enthusiasm to concrete action, it is clear that companies are understanding their role as drivers of change.

New project to verify the impact of forest certification on biodiversity

In the context of the UN Conference, the FSC™ Forest Stewardship Council™ launched a new project. It aims to explore the importance of sustainable forest management for biodiversity and to measure and verify the impact of forest certification more widely. UPM takes part in the project and the data collected from our own forests will be used to assess the impact of forest certification. The evaluation will be carried out by an external team of experts. 

The certification is based on strict criteria, including sites to be saved, water protection zones and retention trees. It is important that we learn more about the effectiveness and real benefits of these measures. The retention trees are not an objective in itself, but the benefits it provides, such as the maintenance of a diverse range of species that are dependent on dead wood.

The first phase of the project now started; will assess how we can make better use of the data we already have. Next year, the second phase of the project will develop new methods to assess the impacts. 

Forestry operators must be ready to develop their own activities 

Forest certification enables forest owners to prove that their forest management is ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable. Forest certification is a dynamic system with regularly updated requirements. The requirements of international regulations and frameworks, as well as science-based understanding of the actions needed to halt deforestation, are taken into account in the development of new certification standards.

Forest certification is based on strong collaboration between different stakeholders to achieve the best results. UPM actively promotes forest certification. All our own forests are certified, and we promote the certification of private forests, for example through the management of group certificates. Our target is to have all the wood we use certified by 2030.

Read more about how we promote biodiversity in forests

Global Biodiversity Framework

FSC C003385

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