The message of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is that is we’re part of nature, so we must be part of the solution for biodiversity loss and climate change. Biodiversity is facing increasing pressures, with more than one billion plant and animal species currently threatened by extinction (1). Human activities are driving biodiversity loss and nature degradation, but we can act to turn things around.
The responsible management of the world’s forests forms one piece of the ‘puzzle of solutions’ needed to tackle the biodiversity crisis. From roots to canopy, trees and forests support life in all its shapes and forms. In FSC-certified forests biodiversity is preserved, and vulnerable species are protected. Take for example, FSC-certified Neris Regional Park in Lithuania whose management activities to build nest boxes helps to conserve threatened dormouse populations.
FSC’s commitment to safeguard biodiversity in forests is outlined in our Principles and Criteria – specifically in Principles 6 and 9 that focus on the conservation and restoration of environmental values, ecosystem services and high-conservation values. The specific benefits to biodiversity from responsible forest management practices can now be robustly measured, quantified and independently verified through the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure.
In Spain for instance, Biesca Ingeniería – a company specialised in forestry and environmental consulting – partnered up with the local conservation association FAPAS to implement the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure to highlight their conservation efforts. FAPAS developed a series of measures linked with bear conservation, including the planting of indigenous fruit trees – mainly wild cherries and apples – inside and around the forests Biesca Ingeniería manages. The planting of trees helps bears access the fruits directly in their home forests and restores balance in their habitat.
As such, FSC-certified forests are a key nature-based solution, providing multiple benefits for, climate, nature and society. Nature-based solutions offer opportunities for creating pathways to deliver investment from global capital markets to support the protection and restoration of a forest’s biodiversity. FSC verified impacts provide credible assurance of outcomes of nature-positive investments and can form the basis of ESG reporting against key indicators. As biodiversity and natural capital market opportunities emerge, FSC offers a way to maintain high standards and safeguards in the delivery of nature-based solutions.
This year’s Biodiversity Day is also geared to generate support for a robust new global biodiversity framework at the upcoming meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity later in the year. FSC UK is committed to be part of the solution for nature, which is why we work to ensure the world’s forests are managed in a responsible way, so they will be there for the benefit of all in the future. Put simply: that’s what FSC is about: ‘Forests for All, Forever.’
If you are interested in being involved in an FSC ecosystem services project by supporting the responsible provision of biodiversity and other forest ecosystem services, please get in touch with amy at fsc-uk point org.
1. WWF. 2020. Living Planet Report 2020 - Bending the curve of biodiversity loss.