Some of you may have heard of FSC timber, otherwise known as timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Council is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which provides standards for responsible forest management and has a mission of promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of forests. What does this mean?
According to the FSC (international website: http://www.fsc.org/) timber and timber products must meet 10 principles and criteria as a minimum for their operation and management. These are:
Principle 1: Compliance with all applicable laws and international treaties
Principle 2: Demonstrated and uncontested, clearly defined, long-term land tenure and use rights
Principle 3: Recognition and respect of indigenous peoples' rights
Principle 4: Maintenance or enhancement of long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities and respect of worker's rights in compliance with International Labour Organisation conventions
Principle 5: Equitable use and sharing of benefits derived from the forest
Principle 6: Reduction of environmental impact of logging activities and maintenance of the ecological functions and integrity of the forest
Principle 7: Appropriate and continuously updated management plan
Principle 8: Appropriate monitoring and assessment activities to assess the condition of the forest, management activities and their social and environmental impacts
Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests defined as environmental and social values that are considered to be of outstanding significance or critical importance
Principle 10: In addition to compliance with all of the above, plantations must contribute to reduce the pressures on and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests (as sourced from the http://www.fsc.org/ website).
It is interesting to note, that Australian and international products that display the FSC timber come from a broad range of markets and don't just include unprocessed timber, but also timber furniture and paper products. The Australian branch of the FSC has a webpage allowing you to find a FSC certified products.
Now my quest to find a couple of timber tables (one indoor and one outdoor) that are FSC certified begins.