SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


We enforce relevant laws in forests around the world



Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.


FSC contributes to this goal in a variety of ways. For FSC, the enforcement of relevant laws is the basis of sustainable forest management. This is reflected in FSC Principle 1 and elaborated in specific requirements regarding legal rights to harvest and harvesting activities, environmental and social requirements, and customary rights. In particular, FSC focuses on free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) for local people and Indigenous Peoples.


FSC requires forest managers to publicize a non-bribery commitment (neither paying nor receiving bribes) and, depending on the situation, take specific measures to ensure their non-involvement in corruption. In this way, FSC contributes in particular to SDG targets regarding the rule of law and reduction of corruption and bribery. Moreover, FSC, through its governance system and stakeholder engagement in political decision-making at international and national levels (including in the development of national standards and in preparation for certification decisions), is an example for other multi-stakeholder-based certification schemes.


Through its FPIC requirements (especially in politically challenging countries), FSC expects its certified entities to establish more inclusive and better governed institutions for negotiations between local populations and logging companies; better managed and more effective benefit-sharing mechanisms; and innovative ways of dealing with problems related to infringements of customary uses.



FSC forest management requirements and FSC features that contribute to goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions:

•    Principle 1: Compliance with Laws. The Organization shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and nationally ratified international treaties, conventions and agreements.
•    Principle 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. The Organization shall identify and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.
•    FSC’s governance and stakeholder engagement system a role model for other certification schemes.

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