But it's not just physical health that forests impact. Studies have shown that spending time in nature and amongst trees can profoundly impact our mental health, reducing stress and anxiety and improving overall well-being. As we become increasingly aware of the significance of forests for human health, it's evident that it’s essential to prioritise their preservation and sustainable management. Here, Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification plays a crucial role in promoting healthy, thriving forests and management practices that prioritise biodiversity, minimise environmental impact, and contribute to the overall well-being of the environment and the people who depend on it.
FSC is a sustainable forest management solution that operates as an international non-profit organisation backed by renowned NGOs and businesses worldwide. Its impact in Australia and New Zealand is substantial, with more than 2.5 million hectares of forests certified under FSC’s stringent standards for responsible forestry. FSC certification ensures that timber and other forest products are sourced from well-managed forests that meet strict environmental, social, and economic requirements. This helps conserve biodiversity, protect wildlife habitats, and support local communities that rely on forests for their livelihoods. By promoting sustainable forest management practices and the use of renewable resources, FSC certification helps to reduce deforestation and mitigate climate change.
WWF Australia, a member of FSC ANZ, has been actively promoting the importance of trees and forests in maintaining our health and well-being through its We All Need Trees campaign. According to Stuart Blanch, Senior Manager of the Toward Two Billion Trees program at WWF Australia and FSC ANZ Director,
Sustainable forest management is critical for the health of our planet and people. FSC offers a reliable and rigorous certification system that promotes responsible forest management, including plantations, and ensures the sustainable sourcing of forest products. WWF Australia fully supports the FSC and encourages businesses and consumers to choose FSC-certified products to help protect our forests and secure a sustainable future for all.
Growing awareness among consumers of the importance of sustainable forest management is leading to increased demand for responsibly sourced products. Through ranging FSC-certified products, businesses demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing and environmental stewardship. Consumers have the power to make a positive impact on both the planet and people by opting for products that bear the FSC certification. This small yet impactful decision can contribute significantly to promoting responsible forest management practices, safeguarding wildlife and the environment, respecting local communities, and encouraging sustainable forest usage. Choosing FSC-certified products is an active step towards building a more sustainable and healthier planet.