Leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services has announced that Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC) has met all of the requirements necessary to earn certification for responsible forestry under the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) standard. The Forest Management Certification encompasses 13 forest divisions covering a total forest area of 349,296 hectares. This area represents roughly 40 percent of the FSC-certified forest area in South Asia.
UPFC manages all aspects of forestry operations within the State of Uttar Pradesh, located in northern India bordering on Nepal. The SCS audit team, consisting of seven professionals representing a variety of disciplines, completed a 6-day field and office audit of the forest management operations as part of the assessment. The interdisciplinary team collected data, analyzed records, conducted interviews with staff and key stakeholders, and carried out a stakeholder analysis.
“The Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health of its forests and the welfare of its workers and community,” said SCS Executive Vice President Dr. Robert J. Hrubes. “UPFC has set an important example for the region by implementing responsible forestry practices on such a large scale.”
In each of UPFC’s forest divisions, the principle silvicultural practice for natural forest areas is conservation, with removal of only dead, dying and decayed trees. Planned harvests are practiced only in designated plantation areas. Areas containing rare, threatened or endangered species are recognized as sanctuaries and national parks where any form of extraction is prohibited.
UPFC has implemented a reliable system to avoid mixing certified and uncertified materials. The Uttar Pradesh Forest Department begins by marking trees before the timber is harvested to guarantee that the logs contain the same markings as the stumps, thereby supporting traceability. UPFC manages the timber harvesting process. Once the trees are felled, the timber is stored in separate timber depots to prevent mixing.
UPFC employs over 2,000 people directly, and is indirectly responsible for a large number of additional jobs such as transporters and loading workers. FSC certification assures that these workers are treated fairly, and in addition, recognizes the customary use rights of local communities.
About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. www.scsglobalservices.com
FSC license code FSC-A000521
About Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC)
Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation is the commercial wing of the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. Each UPFC forest division manages its forestry operations under an approved forest management plan, while UPFC is responsible for the extraction and sale of all timber and non-timber forest products, as well as other commercial activities such as mining and ecotourism. UPFC conducts all work through the Board of Management, headed by the Chairman (Principal Secretary‐ Ministry of Forests and Environment) appointed by the state government of Uttar Pradesh. http://www.upforestcorporation.co.in/