Special Correspondent

KOCHI: The certification of a forest is a process little known to people in many parts of the world including India. It could be a focussed topic of discussion in future especially in the wake of the increased awareness on protection of forests and the green movement taking root across the globe.

Forest certification is a mechanism for forest monitoring, tracing and labelling timber, wood and pulp products and non-timber forest products where the quality of management from environmental, social and economic perspectives is judged against a series of agreed standards, according to the WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF). It is a process that leads to the issuing of a certificate by an independent party which verifies that an area of forest is managed to a defined standard. The certification pertains to two different processes – forest management unit certification (FMU) and chain of custody certification (COC). FMU is a process which verifies that the wood, fibre and other non-timber forest products comes from the certified forest. COC certification pertains to tracking forest products from the certified forest to the point of sale.