Reporting live from the FSC® General Assembly in Malaysia, our FSC® certification program manager, Orrin Quinn, shares guest speaker Ian Redmond’s views on the role FSC® certification has to play in protecting gorilla habitat areas in the tropics.

FSC® International recognizes the importance of FSC® certification in the protection of endangered species, which is why for certification of gorilla-inhabited forests to occur, management and monitoring strategies to protect said gorillas must be in place. Redmond, a renowned wildlife biologist and conservationist, and UNEP/UNESCO Great Apes Survival Partnership Envoy, has been spreading the word on why exactly this is so important.

As the “mega gardeners” of the forest, gorillas promote growth by pruning plants, and fertilize future forests by acting as seed dispersal agents through their dung. Remove the gorillas from the forests and you remove this source of future forest growth. It makes sense then, that to preserve the future of our forests, and their associated non-timber benefits, the gorillas must be protected. As Redmond puts it, “Next time you visit a natural forest, ask yourself, ‘Who planted the trees?’. In the tropics, the chances are high it was an elephant (in Africa and south Asia), a primate or a fruit-eating bird or bat. Think of each tree as the result of an ecological event – an animal once ate a seed … and a few weeks later, a seedling grew…”

By looking out for the forests FSC® is also, by design, playing its part in looking after the non-timber products that come out of them. And that includes the wildlife that call those forests home. Now that’s what’s called ‘value added production’ in forestry.

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