FSC develops, approves two new forest stewardship standards for Thailand--a standard for all forest types and scales and a complementary, locally adapted regional standard for smallholders with units under 20 hectares

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

January 30, 2024 (press release) –

Two new standards for Forest Stewardship for the Kingdom of Thailand have been developed and approved for publication. Specifically, a standard for all forest types and scales (except Management Units smaller than 20 ha) and a complementary, locally adapted regional standard for smallholders with Management Units smaller than 20 ha have been developed. Both standards apply to private and state-owned forests with timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in the scope. The locally adapted regional standard is part of a wider pilot. It currently focuses on forest plantations, but its extension to natural forests may be considered in the future. 

FSC Forest Stewardship Standards (FSS) are based on the Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship; the foundation of FSC certification schemes covering a broad range of issues, from maintaining high conservation value to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring the environmental and social impacts of forest management.  

The first standard mentioned above (for MUs larger than 20 ha) goes beyond compliance with legal requirements, setting a more rigorous benchmark, including more stringent criteria for various aspects of forestry practices, ensuring that certified entities exceed the baseline requirements mandated by prevailing regulations. This aligns with FSC’s commitment to fortify sustainable forest management, combating climate change through more diverse and resilient forests. 

The standard was developed by a chamber-balanced Standard Development Group (SDG) consisting of economic, social, and environmental chambers. The balanced make-up of SDG ensured that each stakeholder group carried the same decision-making weight. Multiple stakeholders were involved in the FSS development process, which lasted about six years, under the leadership of FSC Asia Pacific. The standard development included two stakeholder consultations and field testing to ensure applicability of the requirements. The standard becomes effective on 01 May 2024. 

Addressing smallholder needs in Thailand 

Complementing the above-mentioned FSS, FSC has also developed and approved a simplified version specifically targeted at smallholders with MUs less than 20 ha. This standard (FSC-STD-RAP-THA-01-2024 Plantations EN) is a national adaptation of the Asia Pacific Regional Forest Stewardship Standard (AP RFSS) covering Indonesia, India and Vietnam, apart from Thailand. It is intended to help community and family forests access certification through the simplified approach.  

The scope covers rough wood and non-timber forest products from plantations such as bamboo and rubber. The eligible smallholders and their certification bodies have the possibility to participate in a pilot testing according to a dedicated  Standard Operating Procedure for pilot testing of FSC-STD-RAP-01-2020 V-1 FSC Regional Forest Stewardship Standard for Smallholders PART II –Pilot Test Implementation and to choose to apply the regional standard instead of their national standard. The standard becomes effective on 01 May 2024. 

Accessing the standards 

The FSS for Kingdom of Thailand (English version) can be consulted in the FSC Document Centre. For any queries on the standard, please contact Asia Pacific Regional Team:  asiapacific@fsc.org 

The RFSS for smallholders in the Kingdom of Thailand (English version) can be consulted in the FSC Document Centre. For any queries on the standard, please contact Laura Paulus, Community & Family Forests Manager at communityfamilyforests@fsc.org

A translated (into Thai Language) version of both standards will be available on FSC APAC website  in due course. Visit FSC Asia-Pacific newsroom for more related news. 

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Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

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