Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) pesticide policy and integrated pest management in certified tropical plantations
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was the first non-governmental organization composed of multi-stakeholders to ensure the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of forest resources. FSC prohibits certain chemicals and active ingredients in certified forest plantations. A company seeking certification must discontinue use of products so listed and many face problems to comply with these constraints. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of certification on pest management from the perspective of Brazilian private forestry sector. Ninety-three percent of Brazilian FSC-certified forest companies rated leaf-cutting ants as Bvery important^ pests. Chemical control was the most important management technique used and considered very important by 82 % of respondents. The main chemical used to control leaf-cutting ants, sulfluramid, is in the derogation process and was classified as very important by 96.5 % of the certified companies. Certified companies were generally satisfied in relation to FSC certification and the integrated management of forest pests, but 27.6 % agreed that the prohibitions of pesticides for leaf-cutting ant and termite control could be considered as a non-tariff barrier on high-productivity Brazilian forest plantations. FSC forest certification has encouraged the implementation of more sustainable techniques and decisions in pest management in plantations in Brazil. The prohibition on pesticides like sulfluramid and the use of alternatives without the same efficiency will result in pest mismanagement, production losses, and higher costs. This work has shown that the application of global rules for sustainable forest management needs to adapt to each local reality.