Why FSC Certification is Important
What is FSC certification?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a nonprofit organization that provides environmentally sustainable standards for a wide variety of products related to forests. In addition to setting standards, FSC independently confirms that the standards have been met and then provides its certified logo to qualifying products. Founded in 1993 in response to deforestation concerns, the certification intends to provide sustainable and socially responsible options to consumers. FSC certification covers a variety of wood and paper products and the certified stamp is included on the packaging of brands that have gone through the process. The stamp gives consumers confidence that the wood or paper product they’ve chosen comes from a forest that is sustainably managed. FSC certification also takes the entire ecosystem into account to ensure that wildlife and all plant species benefit from the sustainable management. Even the human element is a factor in certification, as FSC strives to coexist with the people whose livelihood depends on forest products.
Why are forests important?
Forests are complicated ecosystems that are home to 80 percent of the earth’s land-based species and 750 million people. Forests provide food, fuel, medicine, and jobs for over a billion people.
Forests are also vital components in preventing soil erosion. When forests are converted to agricultural crops or livestock pastures, soil erosion occurs, causing the loss of fertile land. A third of the world’s tillable soil has been lost since the 1960s.
Possibly more importantly, forests are a major carbon sink. Forests are the second largest storehouse of carbon (after oceans). It’s estimated that a quarter of a trillion tons of carbon are stored just in tropical forest biomass. Forests help mitigate climate change by absorbing greenhouse gases emitted by human activities.
What is deforestation?
Deforestation, or the permanent removal of trees for non-timber land use, is a serious problem around the world, but especially in tropical regions. The main culprit of deforestation is agriculture. The Union for Concerned Scientists report that four commodities – beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products – drive most of the deforestation. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 18 million acres of forest is deforested every year.
The Amazon rainforest
As the world’s largest forest, the Amazon has numerous important properties. Its vegetation absorbs carbon dioxide, so the Amazon protects us from rising levels of greenhouse gases.
The Amazon also impacts global rainfall. Forests send water into the atmosphere via the process of plant transpiration. This generates more rain that supports forest life. When these forests are lost, rainfall decreases. Not only is the immediate local area more inclined to drought, but areas as far away as the American Midwest and China are more likely to experience drought.
The Amazon, which is renowned for its biodiversity and natural resources, is an important source of medicine. Over 25 percent of all current medicines are derived from tropical plants, which is impressive considering that only five percent of tropical plants have been studied for their potential medical benefits. As the rainforest disappears, so do many possible cures.
Time Magazine reports that, at current rates of deforestation, 27 percent of the Amazon rainforest will be without trees by 2030. Since Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro came into office in 2019, the Amazon’s deforestation rate has increased by as much as 92 percent.
How does FSC certification help?
Due to the tremendous importance of tropical forests, it’s vital for consumers to seek out FSC certified tropical wood. The FSC aims to protect fragile ecosystems while respecting local cultures and economies. Additionally, FSC certified wood is selectively harvested, not clear cut. Pesticide use is limited as well.
Contact Hardwood Decking Supply today and shop our variety of FSC certified wood. With over 25 years of experience, we take pride in working with our customers to ensure that their unique needs are not only met, but surpassed. By providing mill direct lumber, we can pass along the savings to our homeowners and contractors. We ship direct to homes and job sites across the U.S., and within 5-7 days.