Certification and Procurement
FERN’s aim is to advance the debate about the contribution of certification schemes to strengthening forest peoples’ rights and improving forestry practices and legislation. Our work on timber procurement aims to ensure the EU and Member States include forest peoples´rights and responsible forestry practices in their procurement policies.
FERN’s analysis: Whether or not to choose certified products is now an issue many people will have considered, as certification schemes have been developed for virtually every item on sale. Experience with certification schemes related to forest management during the past two decades has however shown the limits of certification in achieving real change in forestry practises on the ground. Certification schemes are often dominated by the forestry sector and, where this is not the case, certification bodies are increasingly certifying operations with poor forest management practices or that don’t fully recognise the rights of local communities.
What FERN is doing: FERN supports groups to campaign against problematic certification operations or schemes. FERN is also actively involved in advocacy to ensure the EU and Member States's procurement policies will effectively outlaw purchasing from destructive forestry operations and use certification schemes where these can provide credible assurance of delivering timber from well-managed operations.
To learn more about this campaign: see FERN's statement to the Forest Stewardship Council on withdrawing FERN's membership, FERN’s statement on FSC, Footprints in the forest and Buying a sustainable future.