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Tomorrow Today

Environmental Research - Sustainability in the rainforest

Can ecologically sound forestry be carried out in the tropics? Scientists from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) say it can. They have developed criteria for the sustainable cultivation and trade in tropical timber.

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The FSC seal of certification is a visible sign of compliance with their principles. Companies that do business according to the standards of sustainable forestry can mark their products with it. Customers in Germany, for instance, can check to see what kind of wood they are buying, and trace its origin. But the seal has sparked debate. Various environmental protection organizations are strictly for or against it, with comments ranging from "exemplary” to "completely misguided.” Tomorrow Today explains how the FSC’s monitoring system works, and whether its seal can really be trusted.