Sustainable forest management: Certification of boreal forests

With the Ecosystems Services and Management’s (ESM) Earth Observation Systems research group, the Policy and Science Interface (PSI) research group developed a methodology to support assessment of forest management certification and policymaking. In 2014, this methodology was refined and applied to a case study in the boreal forest area.

© Pilens | Dreamstime

© Pilens | Dreamstime

A paper submitted to the Journal of Forest Ecology and Management aimed to provide a methodology for spatially explicit assessment of the global certified forest with special emphasis on the boreal domain to help not only monitor past progress and current performance, but also identifying possible future developments. Results indicate that knowledge of certified forest locations is key to develop certification also into a monitoring and verification tool for important international agreements, for example, on carbon sequestration or deforestation reduction (See Figure 1). The researchers were invited to present their study at the World Forest Congress of IUFRO and at the All-Russian Scientific Conference on “Forest Biogeocenoses of the Boreal Zone: Geography, Structure, Functions and Dynamics,” in September 2014, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

Figure 1. Certification map of the Great Lakes Region between Canada and USA including also intact certified forest area. Note: White area symbolizes the Lakes in the center of the map, whereas it means none-forested land in the south and south-west and further surface water bodies or the sea in the north. Sources: [1] [2] (click on image to enlarge).


[1] Kraxner F et al. (2014a). Global Forest Management Certification – Future Development Potentials. Presentation held at the Session on Contributions of Business and Marketing to a Greener Future. IUFRO World Congress 2014, 5-11 October, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

[2] Kraxner F et al. (2014b). Where is our Certified Forest? Application of a New Tool for Certification Mapping to the Boreal Forest. Proceedings of the All-Russian Scientific Conference on “Forest Biogeocenoses of the Boreal Zone: Geography, Structure, Functions and Dynamics”, 16-19 September 2014, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

[3] Fernholz K, Ehnstrand K, Kraxner F, Novoselov I, Tissari J, Oliver R (2014). Policies Shaping Forest Products Market. In: UNECE/FAO Forest Products Annual Market Review, 2013-2014, Geneva Timber and Forest Study Paper 36, ECE/TIM/SP/36. United Nations, New York and Geneva 2014, United Nations Publications, ISBN 978-92-1-117081-8, pp.11-21.


Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons & Climate Change, (MCC), Germany

UN Industrial Development Organization

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Sukachev Institute of Forests, Russia

WWF/Forest Stewardship Council, Russia

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

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Last edited: 12 May 2015


Florian Kraxner

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

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