The adoption of an FSC standard in Finland has moved one step closer following progress in negotiations between stakeholders, according to the Finnish Forest Association.

The forest industry and environmental groups have agreed the environmental criteria in the standard for forestry, regarded as the main obstacle to moving forward with the standard.

However, unresolved matters include the standardisation of the chain of custody and the criteria to be applied to small forest owners.

Further discussions will take place in August, with the standard then due to be sent to FSC international for approval.

But the Finnish Forest Association said approval could not be taken for granted. An earlier attempt was rejected by FSC in 2006.

A main problem is FSC’s rule that a considerable share of forest owners should participate in the preparation of the standard. But MTK, which represents Finnish family forest owners and whose members own 60% of Finnish forests, did not participate in the work

Rules also say preparation work is open for everybody, but one environmental group was excluded this time.