The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is pleased to announce the launch of the newly-designed Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services (ForCES) project website. The new website aims to meet the needs of project participants and to communicate more widely with the public about project developments.
The website has a fresh look and user-friendly navigation, and contains the latest information about project implementation and issues related to forest certification and ecosystem services. An interactive map provides information about the geographical scope of the project and gives details about the ecosystem services that are being explored in each pilot site. A newsroom with RSS feed provides regular updates on project development and forthcoming events.
ForCES is a landmark project which is running over a four-year period (2011–2015). It is looking at the changes to the FSC system that will be needed in order to make FSC a global leader in the certification of ecosystem services. The project involves FSC and its partner organizations researching, analyzing and field testing innovative ways to evaluate and reward the provision of critical ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, and carbon storage and sequestration.
Pilot studies are being carried out in Chile, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam. Ten pilot sites covering approximately 900 000 hectares of forest have been selected to reflect different socio-political and environmental conditions. Project implementation started in January 2012, and includes identifying and interviewing potential buyers of ecosystem services in each site to get a sense of the demand for the final certification model.
By the end of 2015, the ForCES project will have helped FSC to put in place an enhanced global system for forest managers which targets key ecosystem services with existing or future market potential. It will also provide demonstration sites that illustrate the successful certification of ecosystem services, and the positive impacts and added value of FSC certification for forest operations and local communities.
The new ForCES website can be accessed at forces.fsc.org