FSC certified forests cover 200 million hectares in 82 countries. Nearly one fourth of them, i.e. about 48 million hectares are located in Russia. Russia also has the highest number of forest management certificates, 186. Totally 25 per cent of forests leased for wood harvesting are FSC certified. In addition, there are 629 chain of custody certificates in Russia.
The Russian national FSC forest management standard is currently being updated. When the new standard is adopted, a pilot project will be carried out in Russia to rationalize it. The aim is to identify and exclude from the standard indicators that duplicate the requirements of Russian legislation (with a high level of law enforcement), as well indicators that are not applicable in Russian conditions. The project is expected to improve the clarity of the criteria and the application of the standard, facilitate certification control and ease the certification process for SMEs. However, the pilot project should not result in a decrease in the level of economic and social requirements of FSC certification.