Stakeholder Consultation in Forest Certification Assessments

Lead Author: Kathryn Fernholz

Publish date: 10.24.2005


It's Critical Importance & Making it More Effective


Over the years, stakeholder consultation has been increasingly included as a requirement in forest certification assessments. Each program differs in its definition of stakeholders and the consultation requirements, but in general forest certification programs include three types of stakeholder consultation. The first type of stakeholder consultation is the type that has been given the most attention to date – the consultation associated with the development of standards. A second type of stakeholder consultation occurs with management planning and decision making on the part of landowners and land managers seeking certification. The third type of stakeholder consultation is the focus of this report. This report focuses on the stakeholder consultation process that occurs during the certification assessment itself. There is a need for a credible, efficient, and effective process for tackling this type of stakeholder consultation. For a number of reasons the stakeholder consultation part of the certification assessment is one of the most challenging aspects of the certification process but also, arguably, the primary reason forest certification came into existence.