FSC has approved a revised version of the Spanish forest management standard that finally allows plantations in Spain to become FSC-certified.
The standard was finalized following a long-standing debate among Spanish stakeholders of FSC regarding the certification requirements for plantations, and the final version represents a compromise solution. It has been found after many years of tension between the interests represented in the Spanish National Initiative. In particular NGOs such as Greenpeace and unions such as Comisiones Obreras were against providing access to FSC certification for large Eucalyptus plantations.
Four indicators in the Spanish FSC standard have been revised. Two of these imply softened requirements related to the species diversity and age class distribution of plantations, which will allow more Spanish plantations to become FSC certified. However, the standard still requires development towards higher tree species diversity and a mixed age class distribution in the plantations.
Expansion of the FSC scheme in Spain is needed
Easier access to certification for Spain's plantations may help to solve current problems of low supplies of certified raw material for Spanish wood industries.
Forest and Climate Services coordinator of NEPCon Mateo Carinõ Fraisse is based in Spain. He comments: "FSC in Spain is celebrating it's 10-year anniversary this year, and the growth of FSC among the wood industry sector during the last decade is a great achievement. Expansion of certification to cover more Spanish forests is certainly called for, and not only for industry supply reasons. The Spanish FSC standard helps to improve the management of our forests in a multitude of ways, e.g. it regulates the use of chemicals and ensures adequate protection of high conservation values".
Carinõ Fraisse adds: "FSC certified operations also demonstrate new approaches to transparency and dialogue - they show how dialogue, participation of local people and conflict resolution can be facilitated as well as how transparent forest management planning can be carried out, e.g. by making summaries of the plans publicly available".
Date of implementation
The Spanish forest stewardship standard takes immediate effect for new applicants following its approval on 28 September 2009. Forest management enterprises certified before this date will need to implement the new requirements by 28 September 2010.