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Focus on Forests (text version)

The good news

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was set up in the early 1990s with the support of WWF. At its first meeting, foresters, timber traders and environmentalists agreed on their overall aim:
“To promote management of the world’s forests that is environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.”

The FSC is now based in Oaxaca, Mexico. It grants licences to organisations which, in turn, award the certification to businesses producing timber or other forest products. Each one is investigated thoroughly as to the quality of its forest management. By autumn 1998, more than 10 million hectares of forest, an area half the size of the UK, had been certified.

The FSC products need buyers and many manufacturing and retail companies in the UK have agreed to work towards stocking only those forest products which carry the FSC logo. WWF started the 95+ Group, consisting of businesses which have made this pledge. By 1999, there were 89 on the list. They include wallpaper makers and giant DIY chainstores, stationery manufacturers and cosmetic shops and a host of others.

Picture of a Gibson Guitar
Many musical instruments are traditionally made from timbers that are considered threatened. Gibson is one company that is committed to using only certified wood and this prototype guitar, made of maple, chechen and mahogany, bears the FSC logo (picture).

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