FSC certification leads to better conditions for the people of the Congo Basin
A study released today illustrates that the people of the Congo Basin living in Forest Stewardship Council(FSC)-certified logging concessions are experiencing better social conditions than those living in non-certified areas. The report was compiled by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), with funding from CIFOR and WWF, and it demonstrated that the workers and their families living in FSC-certified areas experienced better working and living conditions than those in non-certified areas, including increased worker safety, better access to healthcare, and enhanced housing conditions.
“This report confirms that FSC certification has real and tangible benefits for local people and communities,” stated Kim Carstensen, Director General of the FSC. “Social benefits are one of our core three pillars of action, along with environmental and economic benefits, and we are pleased to see that the hard work of our partners can have such a powerful impact on the ground. We hope consumers of FSC-certified products understand that when they buy FSC, they help more than the environment – they are helping to improve the lives of people all over the world.”
The report shows that FSC-certified logging concessions in the Congo Basin universally provided (100%) health and life insurance to all staff, local medical facilities, and showers and toilets to all individual homes, while these services were present in less than half of non-certified areas. The report also reveals that, in some countries, educational opportunities in addition to state-run services are available in 78% of FSC-certified areas, compared to 33% of non-certified areas.
“Education is so vital to the future of our planet – the children of today are going to be those working in partnership with the land tomorrow – and, so, we need them to be equipped with all the skills and tools required to make the best decisions. It is wonderful to see that FSC-certification is able to benefit communities in this way,” remarked Carstensen.
You can access the WWF/CIFOR-funded FSC Social Impact Report here.
If you would like more information on FSC, or further comment or interview, please do not hesitate to contact FSC Communications Manager, Lisa Smyth, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0049 (0)228 36766 (ext. 23).
Diolo Celine harvests all the leaves from Gnetum spp. (okok) in the village of Minwoho, Lekié, Center Region, Cameroon. (© Ollivier Girard for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR))
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