Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are the benefits that people obtain from nature. Forests provide society with a wide range of benefits, from reliable flows of clean water to productive soil and carbon sequestration. In FSC certified forests, valuable ecosystem services are protected – and in 2018, FSC introduced a procedure to demonstrate and communicate about the positive impact of responsible forest management on ecosystem services. These verified positive impacts aim to facilitate payments for ecosystem services and provide access to other benefits, thereby adding business value for those who responsibly manage forests and those who take action to preserve forest ecosystem services.

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Forestry Newspaper


Incentives for the protection of ecosystem services

The FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure is a tool that incentivises the restoration and conservation of forest ecosystem services. It focuses on five types of ecosystem services. 


By offering evidence of positive impacts as well as tools for communication and green marketing, the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure aims to bring monetary and non-monetary benefits to those who actively support the responsible management of the world’s forests and ecosystem services.

Projects worldwide


Evidence of positive impacts

Building on existing world-renowned certification, the FSC Ecosystem Services Procedure provides a global approach that FSC certificate holders use to demonstrate the impact of their forest management activities on one or multiple ecosystem services at the forest site level. Once the forest manager has implemented all seven steps to demonstrate a positive impact, this is evaluated by a certification body. The resulting third-party verified positive impacts, referred to as ecosystem services claims, can be used for promotion and communication purposes as well as to seek sponsorship.

To learn more, access the Introductory Webinar on the Ecosystem Services Procedure.

Communication: forest impact stories

Attractive impact stories are a new communication opportunity for specific forest sites, highlighting their unique features and ecosystem services (ES) claims accompanied by the widely-recognised trademarks of FSC. Both forest managers and those who financially support the protection of ecosystem services in FSC-certified forests can use FSC ES Claims to tell forest impact stories, drawing on FSC’s internationally regarded leadership in responsible forest management solutions.

Furthermore, FSC 100% certified forest products and carbon credits originating from forests with demonstrated positive impacts can carry ecosystem services claims and be promoted with this added benefit.

For examples of communication possibilities, please visit this page

Belarusian Forest Newspaper
FSC provides businesses with new tools to demonstrate and communicate the positive impact that their purchases, investments and financial support have on the conservation and restoration of forest ecosystem services.
By following the seven steps of the Ecosystem Services Procedure, forest managers demonstrate how their management practices conserve or restore valuable forest ecosystem services. Once these positive impacts are verified by an FSC accredited certification body, the resulting ecosystem services claims can be used to tell impact stories about the forest and attract financial and non-monetary benefits. 

ForCES Project

FSC's work on ecosystem services began in 2011 with the ForCES (Forest Certification for Ecosystem Services) project, supervised by the United Nations Environment Programme and partly funded by the Global Environment Facility.

The overall goal of this project was to incentivise the preservation of valuable forest ecosystem services by facilitating access to ecosystem services markets. To do so, evidence was needed that responsible forestry has positive impacts on ecosystem services.

To implement the project, 10 pilot sites were selected in four countries: Chile, Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam.

Project activities included:

1) impact measurement of forest management activities on one or more ecosystem services at the pilot sites;
2) market research at the international and national level; and
3) identifying the changes needed to the FSC system to include ecosystem services certification at the international level.

In 2017, the ForCES project was completed. The report summary is available for download below.


If you are interested in finding out more, we want to meet you! The Ecosystem Services team will attend (and present at) the following events. Feel free to drop us a message to meet over a coffee during these occasions.





More info

CBD COP15 - tbc

Dates tbc

Kunming (China)


IUCN World Conservation Congress - tbc

7-15 January 2021

Marseille (France)

IUCN Congress 2020

FSC General Assembly

10-15 October 2021

Bali (Indonesia)



* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not attend any in-person events in the coming months. This section will be updated as soon as the situation will allow it.

For training events, please check this page.