Looking Back to Move Forward: Small-Scale and Community Forests

From FSC´s early beginnings, small-scale and community operations and their needs have been a priority for us. We have launched a number of different initiatives over the last 25 years, and we have achieved a lot. The wealth of knowledge and resources we have built up was harnessed to inform our latest FSC program, launched to look into new and innovative solutions. But to look forward we need to acknowledge where we came from the achievements made to date. Survey below for an archive and review of our policy and market work from the past. 

Community and Family Forests Program
woman project manager

Before being formalized under the Community and Family Forest Program, FSC was developing alternative and additional ways to support small-scale forest owners and communities striving to achieve certification under the New Approaches Project started in 2016. To get to where we are today, the project underwent the following phases:


2016 – 2017 Mobilize and launch

After starting in 2016, the New Approaches project engaged smallholders across the globe to co-develop a multi-year plan to improve access to certification and to markets.


2017 – 2018 Develop and test

A global team of experts focused on executing the plan and testing locally relevant solutions.


2019 – 2020 Scale up

After testing solutions, the best solutions were identified and launched in activities such as developing the capacity of the FSC Network to roll them out throughout the world.


2021 onwards

A new work area was designed to reflect the new strategic positioning of FSC and ensure small forest owners and communities contributions to FSC commitments. Our focus for this new phase is to “Enable the Enablers”, meaning that we will prioritize supporting the FSC Network and certification bodies in the first two years, and extend our efforts to (potential) certificate holders and other partners in rolling out our solutions and tools for the remaining period.

New Approaches Project: 2018-2021

Dive into the detailed work streams and achievements of the New Approaches project by reviewing the yearly reports from 2018 through 2021. All of the factsheets are also available in French. Please contact Vera Santos, v.santos@fsc.org.

2020-07_FSC NA Smallholders Update_H1_EN (1).pdf
PDF, Size: 1.00MB
FSC NA Biannual Newsletter - April 2021 (1).pdf
PDF, Size: 0.99MB
New Approaches_2019 Annual Report_EN.pdf
PDF, Size: 313.93KB
New Approaches Project_2018 Report and 2019 Plans.pdf
PDF, Size: 347.18KB
New Approaches_2019 Annual Report_SP.pdf
PDF, Size: 301.60KB
Proyecto Nuevos Enfoques FSC_Informe 2018 y Planes 2019.pdf
PDF, Size: 298.79KB
Nuevos Enfoques_Informe 2018.pdf
PDF, Size: 946.35KB
PDF, Size: 1.07MB
2020-07_FSC NA Smallholders Update_H1_EN.pdf
PDF, Size: 1.00MB
FSC NA Biannual Newsletter - April 2021.pdf
PDF, Size: 0.99MB
FSC NA Results Infographic
PDF, Size: 366.41KB
  • Children along the lake
    FSC Denmark

    A Decade in a Glance: 2005 - 2015

    But what was done before the New Approaches project? The work was built on years of history and effort starting in 2002 and taking off under a programme in 2005. Review milestones below to understand how we started from a single social policy at FSC to a broader reaching program:

    • 2002 – Social strategy
    • 2004 – SLIMF policies
    • 2005 – Modular Approach Programme (MAP)
    • 2005 – FSC-Fairtrade dual certification pilot project
    • 2008 – Lisbon Process – from policy to support; CEFCO project; Smallholder Fund; European Smallholder Network
    • 2008 – FSC certification of conservation and protection areas – inclusion of ecosystem services in the FSC system
    • 2010 – Social Policy Programme created
    • 2011 – Smallholder Support Programme (Train the Trainers; Small and Community Label Option (SCLO))
    • 2014 – A set of iconic motions were approved in FSC General Assembly that were in the genesis of New Approaches project
    • 2016 – New Approaches for Smallholders and Communities Certification project was officially launched