History of FSC

How did we get here?

Pathway Through the Forest1990 - Meeting in California, USA a group of timber users, traders and representatives of environmental and human-rights organisations who had identified the need for a credible system to identify well-managed forests as acceptable sources of forest products. This meeting concluded that this system would include a global consensus on what is meant by good forest management, independent audits of the management and a global umbrella organisation. It developed the name "Forest Stewardship Council" (FSC).


1990 to 1993 - Intensive consultation processes in ten countries were held to determine whether there was widespread support for the proposal to develop a worldwide certification and accreditation system covering all kinds of natural forests and plantations.

March 1992 - Washington D.C., USA. Interim FSC Board of Directors established.

October 1993 - FSC Founding Assembly in Toronto, Canada with 130 participants from 26 countries.

April 1994 - First FSC Executive Director appointed.

Summer 1994 - FSC Secretariat Office was opened in Oaxaca, Mexico with three staff. The FSC Principles and Criteria, together with the Statutes for the FSC (now the By-Laws), were approved by the votes of the founding members.

February 1996 - FSC was established as a legal entity in Mexico. The first accreditation contracts were signed with four certification bodies. The first wooden products appeared in UK with the FSC logo. The first FSC Working Group (UK) was endorsed by the FSC Board of Directors. Principle 10 for plantations was ratified by the FSC membership.

June 1996 - First FSC General Assembly in Oaxaca.

January 1997 - First FSC National Standard was endorsed for Sweden.

Mid 1998 - 10million hectares certified to FSC standards.

November 1998 - First FSC Annual Conference.

June 1999 - Second FSC General Assembly in Oaxaca. The first FSC certified non-timber forest product (chicle-gum from Mexico). The first complete book printed on FSC-certified paper: "A living Wage" by Lawrence B. Glickman.

November 2000 - Second FSC Annual Conference.

December 2001 - FSC receives the City of Göteborg International Environment Prize.

Spring 2002 - Policies on Group Certification of Chain of Custody and Sampling for Multi-site Organisations developed. Board of Directors decision to establish the FSC International Center in Bonn, Germany.

April 2002 - Forest Leadership Forum, Conference and Trade Fair in Atlanta, USA with about 1,350visitors from 45 countries and 200 exhibitors.

November 2002 - Third FSC General Assembly in Oaxaca.

January 2003 - Re-location of the FSC Secretariat from Oaxaca, Mexico to the FSC International Center in Bonn, Germany with a staff of 25 people.

December 2005 - Fourth FSC General Assembly in Manaus, Brazil. More than 300 FSC members attend. FSC members of the Global South are represented in unprecedented force and submit the majority of motions.

July 2006 - FSC Project Certification Standard approved. FSC complies with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice which attests the credibility for setting international social and environmental standards. FSC Australia registered as a company.

October 2006 - FSC Controlled Wood standards come into force. FSC Controlled Wood clarifies requirements for the non-certified part in FSC Mixed products and helps FSC Chain of Custody certified companies avoid unacceptable sources of wood.

November 2009 - FSC Australia’s Public Fund registered, allowing tax-deductable donations to be made.

November 2011 - FSC Australia changes from an FSC National Initiative to an FSC National Office.


Early 2014 - FSC Australia given Sub-Regional membership, Account Management, Marketing and trademark services to New Zealand on behalf of FSC International.

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