Last week FSC Germany celebrated its general assembly and 20 years of a (mainly) success story. Dr. Thomas Griese, secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Energy, Food and Forest in Rheinland-Pfalz, described all the different milestones leading to the current situation. He elaborated on sustainability based on all three pillars of FSC’s work: environmental, social, and economical. He also identified different challenges, namely the integration of privately owned forests and the negative perception of sustainable use of forest resources.
A report from ISEAL Alliance was then introduced by Maira Devisscher. This presentation highlighted FSC results according to the Values and Impacts Analysis (VIA) study. The findings indicate that business, who adopt voluntary sustainability standards or other sourcing solutions, need to translate the available evidence into factual and accessible statements that communicate commitment claims to a variety of audiences.
Later, Johannes Grün, from Brot für die Welt, gave some remarks on global challenges. First, he reminded all participants that on August 2, 2017, we had reached the Earth Overshoot Day. This means that humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. Second, Grün pointed out the global trends of nationalism movements and authoritarian regimes, and how only two percent of the world’s population live in a truly open civil society, which is considered the basis of sustainable development. Finally, he stressed how important the SDGs are, because for the first time development and sustainability were brought together. He ended by highlighting the work of different agents of change, like California Governor, Jerry Brown, in creating a resilience movement and spreading global good governance.
Jürgen Schmidt, from Terra Institute, closed the first day by explaining that organizations’ biggest challenge today is to have easier, clearer, and more transparent storytelling in the digital world.
On the second day Sebastian Korintenberg, the local forester in Bonn, led a joint FSC/Naturland certification demonstration. There was a engaging discussion at the end with Frank Katto, representative from Accreditation Services International GmbH (ASI), clarifying its role as assurance partner.
You can fnd the 20 year celebration campaign here.