Swiss foresters go for FSC certification

WWF predicts 12% of Swiss forests will be certified as sustainably managed before 2001

International environmental group WWF has celebrated a further advance for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) global sustainable timber certification scheme, announcing that Swiss forests had signed up for the first time. Some 70,000 hectares, or 12% of Switzerland's entire timberlands, would be FSC-certified by the end of this year, WWF added, predicting that the proportion would rise further to 40% within the next four or five years.

The announcement marks the ninth European country in which foresters have adopted FSC certification after a long period in which private foresters in particular resisted joining the scheme. Last month, the FSC said it had certified 12.8m hectares of woodlands in Europe, mainly in Sweden and Poland (ENDS Daily 6 June). Earlier this month, WWF publicised the first Austrian forests to seek FSC certification and predicted 50,000 hectares of certified forests there over the next 12 months (ENDS Daily 3 July).

The Mexico-based FSC is predicting further growth in the area of certified forests in Europe. Forest managers in France, Italy, Romania and other countries have expressed a serious interest in the scheme, spokesperson Liviu Amariei told ENDS Daily today.

Follow Up:
WWF Switzerland, tel: +41 22 939 3990; FSC, tel: +52 95 14 69 05.

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