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Background & Genesis

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) was recognized as integral part of sustainable development during Earth Summit at Rio (1992). Around 150 countries have initiated Criteria & Indicators (C&I) approach for SFM in association with one or the other internationally recognized nine processes. One such initiative named as Dry Forest Asia Process was evolved in 1999 at Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal involving representatives from nine Asian countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The Bhopal-India process is an offshoot of this internationally recognized process and has semblance with internationally recognized processes specifically the Dry Forest Asia and International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) initiatives on SFM.

The Objective 2000 (ITTO) envisages that forest products reaching to the international market should come from sustainably managed forests. India is also committed towards fulfillment of this objective. The United Nation’s Forum on Forest (UNFF) adopted a Non-Legally Binding Instrument (NLBI) on all types of forests in the year 2006 and adopted for Global Forest Objectives framed for forests and their commitments to work globally, regionally and nationally to achieve progress towards achievement by 2015. The global objectives are 1) Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through sustainable forest management, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation; 2) Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits, including by improving the livelihoods of forest dependent people; 3) Increase significantly the area of protected forests worldwide & other areas of sustainably managed forests, as well as the proportion of forest products from sustainably managed forests; 4) Reverse the decline in ODA for SFM and mobilize significantly increased new and additional financial resources from all sources for the implementation of sustainable forest management.

The Government of India established "SFM Cell" in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The National Forestry Commission in 2006 recommended creating enabling environment to facilitate periodic assessment, monitoring the changes and reporting on national level criteria & indicators. The commission also emphasized on the need to develop Minimum Acceptable Standard (MAS) for SFM. The SFM approach has been recognized as a thrust area in the XI five year plan (2012-17). The Government of India constituted a "Task Force" on SFM for developing modalities to adapt this approach. The task force recognized 8 criteria and associated indicators developed under Bhopal-India Process as the National set of C&I for SFM. These draft national set of criteria and indicators for SFM were pilot tested in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and further refined.

The revised 8 criteria and 37 indicators for SFM have been included in the New National Working Plan Code 2014 by the MoEFCC, Government of India for sustainable management of forests and conservation of biodiversity in the country.

Also, the Government of India constituted a "Task Force on Initiating Forest Certification in India" under the Chairmanship of the Director General of Forests & Special Secretary MoEFCC, GoI in 2004. This task force constituted a National Forest Certification Committee in Oct 2007 to suggest a framework for initiating Forest Certification in India. The task force recommended setting of an Indian Forest certification Council in line with other countries like Malaysia, Brazil, Chile etc. The coordinator of centre of SFM&FC is a member of this task force as well as the national committee, representing IIFM.

In the backdrop of the above happenings at the national level and the growing awareness about sustainable forest management & forest certification at global level and the increasing demand for legally sourced & certified timber in developed markets, IIFM has set up the Centre for Sustainable Forest Management & Forest Certification (SFM & FC) in February 2006. The centre is expected to generate pool of knowledge and understanding on this emerging field of Stainable Forest Management & Forest Certification for the development of forestry sector in the country.

Strategy and Future Work Plan

The centre envisages further development and strengthening of appropriate links between criteria and indicators at the national, state and FMU levels, and making efforts toward developing forest certification programme. The centre commits to field specific case studies to demonstrate application of forest certification in the country.

The centre continues to provide policy inputs to Govt. of India and facilitate state forest departments in implementing sustainable forest management. In this process the centre has demonstrated application of FMU specific C&I of SFM through intensive field studies in 16 Forest Divisions in six States of the country.

The centre is also committed for creating and disseminating the knowledge base on SFM & forest certification through the centre specific website, quarterly newsletter, working papers, monographs, workshops, conferences, journal publications, books, and target specific capacity building training programmes.


Manmohan Yadav PhD

Associate Professor, Marketing Area &

Coordinator - Centre for SFM and Forest Certification

Indian Institute of Forest Management

Nehru Nagar, Bhopal - 462003. INDIA

Mobile: 9424413670

Email - manmohan@iifm.ac.in / sfmfc@iifm.ac.in

Objectives of the Centre

To serve the sector by undertaking and coordinating academic activities (research, training, workshops, consulting etc.) pertaining to forest products marketing, SFM, forest certification and related issues.

Publication and dissemination of technical documents related to forest products marketing, SFM, forest certification, and related issues.
To provide inputs for policy-making and work as Think Tank (knowledge base).

To help develop a framework for a national forest certification scheme for the country in consultation with various stakeholders and work towards its mutual recognition from the international schemes.

To act as coordinating agency with State Forest Departments for planning & implementation of SFM and forest certification activities.

The mission of the centre is to integrate, strengthen, and redirect the centre’s forestry research, education, and outreach to address the needs of the 21st century and a globalized environment. The centre fosters leadership through innovative programs, activities, and research to support sustainable forest management worldwide.

Thematic areas of centre activities

Training & skill development
The concept of sustainable forest management is not new to Indian forestry. The forests are managed on the prescriptions of the working plan formulated as per national working plan code and duly approved by the state and national competent authority. The revised working plan code envisages incorporation of C&I approach for assessment of direction of change in the forests over the period.

In order to appreciate the understanding and application of these new aspects in the Indian forestry management scenario it is imperative to provide sensitization and skill development training to different stakeholders. Thus this activity has been identified as one of the thrust area of the centre.

Research & documentation
Under the aegis of centre for SFM & FC the research will be conducted to provide policy inputs to the Central & State Governments. India provides a unique opportunity and has substantial area under the natural forest and plantation. The development of standards for forest certification for various components of forest will be undertaken in consultation with various stakeholders and work towards its mutual recognition from international schemes.

The center has identified dissemination of information on forest certification and tools and techniques available for the sustainable forest management in field as well as the curricula in graduation and post graduation level where the forestry is being taught. The publication of articles and technical documents on SFM and forest certification has been undertaken as one of key activity to disseminate the knowledge generated through research.

The center at IIFM will provide four-pronged network between Central Government; State Government; Research & Academic institutions; and International organizations. The centre will be a pivot for sharing and dissemination of information of SFM and FC through a worldwide network of researchers, academic and research institutes, policy makers, community networks, non-government organizations for facilitating work for bringing professionalism in forestry sector.

Activities undertaken

Books / Monograph

  • Yadav, Manmohan 2013. Forest Certification: Sustaining Forestry in India. Centre for SFM&FC, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, INDIA. ISBN 978-81-7969-078-9. Details
  • Yadav, Manmohan; P.C. Kotwal and B.L. Menaria. 2007. Forest Certification: A Tool for Sustainable Forest Management. ISBN: 81-7969-047-4. Pages 1-190. Download
  • Kotwal, P.C.; Manmohan Yadav; M.D. Omprakash; B.L. Menaria and D. Dugaya. 2006. Annotated Bibliography on Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification - 2006. ISBN: 81-7969-036-09. Pages 1-186.


Journal articles

Yadav, Manmohan and D. Dugaya. 2012. Non-timber forest products certification in India: opportunities and challenges. Environment, Development and Sustainability. Published on line 5th October 2012. DOI 10.1007/s10668-012-9393-1.


Conference Papers

  • Yadav, Manmohan, D. Dugaya and Kalpana Basera. 2011. Opportunities and Challenges for NWFP Certification in India. Paper presented in International conference on 'Managing NWFPs for Sustained Livelihoods' organized at RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration & Management, Bhopal during 17-19 December 2011.
  • Yadav, Manmohan. 2011. Forest Certification: Opportunities and Challenges for India. Invited Paper for the 1st Indian Forest Congress (IFC) organized at ICFRE, Dehradun during 22-25 November 2011.
  • Yadav, Manmohan and D. Dugaya. 2010. Timber Forest Certification Scenario: an Overview. In K. Jayaraman, M. Balasundaran, K.V. Bhat and C.N. Krishnankutty (Eds) Production and Marketing of Teakwood: Future Scenarios (pp 30-47). TEAKNET: Lumiere Printers, Thrissur, Kerala, India.
  • Yadav, Manmohan; P.C. Kotwal; M.D. Omprakash; B.L. Menaria and D. Dugaya. 2008. Forest certification of planted forest based on the experience of Bhopal-India process. Processing and Marketing of Teak wood products of planted forests organized by KFRI in collaboration with ITTO, MoEF, IUFRO during 25-28 Sept. 2007. Pp 132-145.


Workshops Organised

  • 2013: Organised Key Stakeholder Consultation on 'Approach towards Development of NWFP Standards for Forest Certification in India' at IIFM on March 19, 2013.
  • 2005: Organised International workshop on SFM- C & I.
  • 2003: Organized Workshop Sensitization on Forest Certification was at Agartala, Tripura State in July 2004 under this project.
  • 2002: Organized a workshop on Forest certification and labeling in association with Madhya Pradesh Forest department.
  • 2000: Organized Regional workshop for Dry Zone Asia.

Training Programmes Conducted

  • 2013: MoEF, GoI, sponsored Compulsory Course on 'Forest Certification: Opportunities and Challenges' for the officers of Indian Forest Service at IIFM during February 18-22, 2013. Details
  • 2012: MoEF, GoI, sponsored Training workshop on 'Forest Certification: A Marketing Tool for Sustainable Forest Management' for the officers of Indian Forest Service at IIFM during September 13-14, 2012. Details
  • 2012: 'Workshop-cum-Capacity Building Training for TFDPC Ltd Personnel' during May 30 - June 03, 2012.
  • 2011: Compulsory Refresher Course for the officers of Indian Forest Service conducted at IIFM during December 12-16, 2011 on 'Forest Certification: A Marketing Tool for Sustainable Forest Management'. The MoEF, GoI, sponsored the refresher course. Details
  • 2010: Training Workshop of IFS Officers on the topic "Forest Certification: A marketing Tool for SFM during 09-10 December 2010. The MoEF, GoI, sponsored the training workshop. Details
  • 2009: One week compulsory training of IFS Officers on the topic "Forest Certification: A marketing Tool for SFM scheduled during 14-18 September 2009. The MoEF, GoI, sponsored the training. Details
  • 2009: Conducted 2nd One week compulsory training programme for IFS Officers during 9-13 February 2009 on Forest Certification for SFM sponsored by MoEF, GoI. Details
  • 2008: Conducted 3 days MDP on Forest Certification for SFM during June 25-27, 2008.
  • 2007: Conducted One-week compulsory training programme for IFS officers on Forest Certification for SFM during 15-19 October 2007 sponsored by MoEF, GoI. Details
  • 2006: Conducted 3 days MDP on Forest Certification for SFM during November 29- Dec 1, 2006.

Training Programmes Scheduled for 2013-14
Training on 'Forest Certification' for the Senior Scientists of ICFRE during 22-26 July 2013.


Research & Consulting Projects undertaken

  • 2012-13: UP-PMF (JICA funded) project has commissioned study to IIFM on 'NTFP Marketing and certification' in three forest divisions in UP. (On-going)
  • May 2012 - June 2013: Consulting Assignment on 'Facilitation for Rubber Wood Certification (FM, CoC & Use of Logo) for TFDPC Ltd' (Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation Limited). (On-going)
  • 2012-13: Field validation of draft standards for certification of Non-Timber Forest Products. The study was proposed to field validate draft set of standards for forest certification of selected NTFPs of central India developed in the year 2011 in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh. The field validation of draft NTFP Standards were undertaken by selection of one forest division each in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The NTFP’s availability, utilization, commercialization, exploitation, management practices, policies and tenure systems in different parts of India have high diversity and variability. Therefore, a system for certification of NTFPs is much more complex than for timber. Thus, when applying forest certification standards for NTFPs, the habit and phenology of NTFP producing species together with the ecological, economic and socio-cultural aspects must be considered. Considering this broad approach in mind categorization of NTFPs in three categories for the purpose of developing certification standards were proposed. These include - i) NTFPs whose under ground parts are used such as Nagarmotha; ii) NTFPs whose fruits/flowers/seeds are used such as Aonla, Harra and Achar; iii) NTFPs whose leaf are used such as Tendu Patta. The understanding was shared with a group of experts in this highly specialized subject area. The experts in a stakeholder consultative meeting on 19th March 2013 after through deliberations agreed to retain all the 4 Principles suggested in the earlier study. However, modifications (addition or deletion) were suggested at the criteria level under each principle. The study was sponsored by IIFM.
  • 2010-11: IIFM supported pilot study for developing standards for certification of Non-Timber Forest Products. The draft set of standards for forest certification of selected NTFPs of central India developed based on field conditions, consultation with various stakeholders and the developments at National and International level. The draft set of standards consists of 4 Principles, 17 Criteria and 55 Indicators. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that the raw material, used by forest enterprises and communities to manufacture their products is obtained from forests that are managed taking into consideration social benefits and environmental protection, while seeking to attain long term economic viability.
  • 2002-2004: IIFM was commissioned a study on Study in Northeast, Training in Certification and Auditing and Certification of forest areas by the Development Commissioner, Ministry Textiles, GoI.
  • 2001: A project on "Operational Strategy for Sustainable Forestry Development with Community Participation in India" has been commissioned by ITTO. (Initially 6 FMUs in MP and Chhattisgarh then 2 FMUs each in states of Orissa, Gujarat, Sikkim and Kerala also included).


Policy Inputs

  • Proposed framework of National Forest Certification in India to the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  • Proposed revision in the National Working Plan Code for incorporation of C&I approach to Sustainable Forest Management.
CSFMFC Advisory Committee Meeting.  Details


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