Forest and/or eco- certification programs provide for a independent or third-party certification of forest management, helping to ensure that it is environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable. These programs provide a market mechanism allowing producers and consumers to identify and purchase timber and non-timber forest products from well-managed forests. The advantages to business and communities are several fold, but notably enhanced economic returns from sustainably managed forest resources.
The most well recognised forest certification scheme is that developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (or FSC). The FSC scheme enshrines nine principles as follows:
Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles: Forest management shall respect all applicable laws of the country in which they occur, and international treaties and agreements to which the country is a signatory, and comply with all FSC Principles and Criteria.
Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities: Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined, documented and legally established.
Indigenous Peoples' Rights: The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be recognised and respected.
Community Relations and Worker’s Rights: Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well being of forest workers and local communities.
Benefits from the Forest: Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest's multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits.
Environmental Impact: Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain the ecological functions and the integrity of the forest.
Management Plan: A management plan appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operations shall be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.
Monitoring and Assessment: Monitoring shall be conducted appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts.
Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests: Management activities in high conservation value forests shall maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests. Decisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach.
The FSC Chain-of-Custody Certification system enables tracking of FSC certified wood from the forest management enterprise, through the wood processing companies to the retailers (and sometimes even to building projects), so that true FSC Labels and claims can be attached onto the FSC certified wood products.
To start with, the organic certification process depends partially on your situation. In the Pacific islands region ‘Group Certification” is often desirable for small holder producer groups. Alternatively stand alone or single entities or enterprises (producer or processor) can apply for certification.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point.
The increasing reports of food borne outbreaks and the continuous growing concerns of food safety by public health authorities, consumers and other concerned parties has led to the development of HACCP which is an instrument used by food manufacturers to ensure microbiological, chemical and physical safety of food stuffs.