Forest Stewardship Council indicators: Development by Multi-stakeholder process assures consistency and diversity
In more than 80 countries, forest operations are certified as being managed in accordance with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This paper explains how FSC addresses regional and national differences in forest legislation, environmental conditions, social and political contexts, and stakeholder expectations in developing forest management standards. It describes how stakeholders reached consensus on the first set of FSC Principles and Criteria, the foundation of FSC's framework for forest stewardship, and how indicators are now negotiated to fill the framework and ensure that national forest management standards fit their context. It concludes with a discussion of why FSC's certification system, though voluntary, has been able to improve forest management by engaging stakeholders in developing national standards that reflect local conditions and community interests.