Approximately 1.5 million hectares, equivalent to 3% of Brazil’s native forest, possess quality certificates, known as Green Seals, for sustainable forest utilization.
This information comes from the Brazilian Forest Management Council (FSC-Brasil), a non-governmental organization (NGO) affiliated with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The FSC is also an NGO, with headquarters in Bonn, Germany, and representatives from 74 countries. The FSC is the body that accredits companies to monitor and certify products in the countries in which it operates. Certification in Brazil only began in 2001.
According to Alexandre Dias de Souza, coordinator of the FSC-Brasil, the Green Seal ensures that the process of forest utilization or manufacture of products from wood conforms to criteria of “economic sustainability” and is in accordance with the country’s labor and environmental laws and social concerns.
“The certificate even makes it possible to track the source of the wood and, in some cases, identify the tree that was used,” he says.
The coordinator of the FSC-Brasil explains that certification occurs on two levels: one involving forest management and the utilization of wood as a raw material, and the other directed at the final products, such as furniture and other items.
According to Souza, the certification of manufactured products poses a “special challenge” to avert the possibility of camouflage in the process, such as mixing batches of non-certified wood with certified batches.
According to Souza, there are four institutions in Brazil that provide quality seals. Three of them are foreign private firms: Skal, from the Netherlands, FCF, from the United States, and SGS, from South Africa. The fourth institution is Imaflora, a Brazilian NGO.
He also observes that utilization of managed forests first requires the authorization of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).
In the monoculture sector, such as eucalyptus, for example, 30% of the area used for this purpose in Brazil possesses the
Green Seal. “This corresponds to 500 thousand hectares.”
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