Sustainable Forest Management


As the world's natural forests are being depleted, the remaining areas are becoming increasingly threatened. This erodes the economic and cultural wealth of a number of nations including China, as biodiversity, watersheds, and long-term livelihoods are wasted for short-term profits benefiting relatively few. In many countries, the forestry industry is the driving force behind this loss. However; logging does not necessarily mean the destruction of forests; if managed well by sustainable harvesting practices, the forests can be permanently maintained.
© WWF-China
Wolong Nature Reserve
© WWF-China

FSC Certification Promotion

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization - was founded in 1993. Its mission is to develop a system that certifies wood as a well-managed resource, easily identifiable by reassuring consumers via recognized labels. Producers and buyers thereby support good forestry practices through their purchases and investments.

WWF introduced FSC certification to China in 2000 and since then the total forested areas certified by FSC has reached 1.4 million ha (July 2010). Along with FSC promotion, the high conservation value forest (HCVF) concept has been introduced to forest managers in China and it helped forest managers improve forest classification in the field.

Together with other stakeholders, WWF helped set up the FSC China Working Group, which was endorsed by FSC in 2007, to develop the FSC China Standard. Now, the group has more than 120 members from various companies, academies and NGOs.

New Generation Plantation Project

Forests, including planted forests, supply wood, fibre, fuelwood and non-wood forest products for industrial and non-industrial uses. Planted forests, if properly managed, can also contribute positively towards the provision of environmental services (soil and water protection, rehabilitation of degraded lands, restoration of key landscape values and carbon sequestration) and the provision of social services and livelihood support (income generation, employment and recreation). The productivity of planted forests for forest products supply is substantially greater than in natural forests. The added benefits of sustainably produced wood products over competing products are that they are renewable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

However, WWF understands that fast wood plantations remain controversial: some of their expansion has come from the conversion of natural forests and other areas of high conservation values such as grasslands and wetlands. Their establishment has in a number of cases also resulted in significant social consequences due to a disregard for the rights and interests of local communities. But such impacts can be avoided, and that’s why WWF is committed to promoting a new generation of plantations(NGPP).

According to Rod Taylor, WWF’s Forest Director, “An ‘upgrade’ to the new generation involves progressing from worker relations to meaningful consultation with stakeholders, going beyond the design of tree compartments within a management unit to planning that takes into account how the plantation fits within the wider landscape, and voluntarily exceeding legal requirements to protect high conservation values.”

NGPP goes well beyond theory – the principles and recommendations are based on the actual experiences of the participant organizations. The project is committed to generating new knowledge and strategies through expert research, in-depth case studies and open dialogue with the various groups working on or affected by plantations. Through this mode of working WWF intends to: 
  • Identify examples of plantations that make positive contributions to conservation, restoration and social development;
  • Favour the development of frameworks that can address the massive global variability in which plantations are developed;
  • Promote a transparent, grounded and frank exchange of views while building trust between stakeholders.