Social Impacts of the Forest Stewardship Council Certification: An Assessment In the Congo Basin

Forests FSC-certified for their sustainable management provide more benefits to communities than uncertified forests, according to this study of Congo basin logging concessions by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Conducted in 2013-2014 across three Congo Basin countries—Cameroon, Gabon and Republic of Congo—this WWF-supported study matches nine certified and nine noncertified concessions, or forest management units (FMUs) to compare how well they deliver social benefits to workers and communities.

The study looks at measures such as employee living and working conditions, equitable distribution of resources, social infrastructure such as schools and community buildings, and impacts on customary rights such as agriculture and hunting.

The study is the first of its kind to look specifically at social impacts of FSC certification in the Congo basin, and highlights how communities benefit when logging companies pursue the level of responsible forest management required by and audited under FSC certification requirements.