Progress of forest certification in China
The Chinese Government is committed to forest certification as a market-based instrument to promote sustainable forest management. Forest certification includes a number of regulations, rules and policy paradigms related to certification and there are numerous challenges facing the uptake of forest certification in China. In particular, the ban on commercial logging in natural forests implemented by the Natural Forest Protection Program has resulted in little demand for forest certification of natural forest management units. However, there are also certification opportunities, such as the certification of non-timber forest products that benefit local communities who depend on forests for the goods and services they provide. This paper provides an overview of progress in forest certification in China, including its development history, organizational structure, scheme documents, certification scopes and standards, accreditation, certification bodies and auditors, and certification logos. The paper also focuses on government support for the supervision and management of forest certification through policy incentives, including the potential government procurement and subsidy policies for certified forest products. Finally, the paper analyzes certified non-timber forest products as an example of the value of certification to promote sustainable forest management and how the concept of forest certification can be used to add value to forests and ensure they are responsibly and sustainably managed. In general, forest certification in China has a clear role in sustainable forest management, both for timber and non-timber forest products.