Mapping certified forests for sustainable management - A global tool for information improvement through participatory and collaborative mapping
There are currently no spatially explicit, openly accessible data available on forest certification below national level, so understanding the drivers of certification in the past, examining the scope for further certification and using this information for development of future sustainable forest management strategies is challenging. Hence, this paper presents a methodology for the development of a global map of certified forest areas at 1 km re- solution in order to satisfy this information need. Validation of the map with certified areas in Russia showed reasonable results, but the lack of openly accessible data requires broadening the strategy for improving the global certification map in the future. Thus, the second aim of the paper is to present an online tool for vi- sualization and interactive improvement of the global forest certification product through collaborative map- ping, aiming at a range of stakeholders including third-party certifiers, green NGOs, forestry organizations, decision-makers, scientists and local experts. Such an approach can help to make more accurate information on forest certification available, promote the sharing of data and encourage more transparent and sustainable forest management, i.e. both producers and users can benefit from this online tool.