The international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), a multi-stakeholder organisation promoting responsible management of the world’s forests, appointed a key account officer in South Africa. This demonstrates visible commitment to sustainable forestry in Africa as well as improving market conditions.
South Africa is also investing in the technical process of revising the National Forest Act Principles, Criteria and Standards for Achieving Sustainable Forest Management developed under that act for the promotion and enforcement of sustainable forest management.
While plantations replace natural vegetation (in South Africa’s case, mainly grasslands), over 80% of land reserved for plantation forestry is certified by the FSC®.
Some 25% of this land is not planted to trees. Instead it is conserved for biodiversity in the form of grasslands, wetlands, indigenous forests and savannah.
FSC’s Chain of Custody tracks certified material through the production process – from the forest to the consumer, including all successive stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing and distribution.
The industry voluntarily reduced its plantation area by 80,000 hectares in riverine and ecologically sensitive areas.