The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has been a vital component of sustainable forest management in Poland for over 25 years. Until recently, approximately two-thirds of the total forest area of 9.2 million hectares in the country were FSC-certified. The certified forests are managed by the Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSF) and two Forest Experimental Stations under the University of Poznań.
Despite initiating dialogue in November 2022 between FSC International and Polish State Forests, six Regional Directorates of State Forests (RDSFs), representing an area of roughly 2 million hectares, have opted to discontinue FSC certification in their respective regions. The affected regions include:
- Gdansk (FSC-certified area: 303,938 ha) - expired
- Torun (FSC-certified area: 456,447 ha) - expired
- Poznan (FSC-certified area: 419,535 ha) - certificate expired on 4 April, 2023
- Warsaw (FSC-certified area: 194,960 ha) - certificate expired on 9 April, 2023
- Radom (FSC-certified area: 325,074 ha) - certificate expired on 1 May, 2023
- Pila (FSC-certified area: 362,770 ha) - recertification granted on 10 March, 2023; license agreement was valid until May 31, 2023
The collaboration between Polish foresters and FSC has enabled many Polish companies to grow their market reach through exporting their FSC certified products to regional and international companies. Today, Polish companies are among global leaders when it comes to the production of furniture, doors, windows, panels, and other wood-based products. There are currently 2,500 FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certificates in Poland, making it one of the top countries for FSC CoC globally.
Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC International, says: “We will reinforce our engagement and presence in Poland to ensure that we have a solid foundation for responsible forest management now and in the long term. We will continue to promote sustainable practices throughout the country in line with our values, while safeguarding its global credibility”.
FSC acknowledges the significant implications for certified supply in the country coupled with the existing shortages as a consequence of the Ukraine war. To address this issue, FSC is actively working alongside partners and members to develop strategic solutions to fill the supply gap.