These voluntary guidelines have been derived through an extensive multistakeholder process coordinated by FAO over a period of two years. Experts in planted forests from governments, the private sector (corporate and smallholder), non-governmental (social and environmental) and intergovernmental organizations and academics gave willingly of their valuable resources, time and expertise to explore the correct balance for the guidelines. FAO wishes to acknowledge its major partners in preparing the early concepts and drafts:
• governments of some FAO Member Countries: China, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, New Zealand, South Africa and Viet Nam;
• intergovernmental organizations: Center for International Forestry Research, International Tropical Timber Organization and World Agroforestry Centre;
• private-sector associations: International Council for Forest and Paper Associations, Brazilian Paper and Pulp Association/Sociedade Brasileira de Silvicultura, American Forest and Paper Association, Confederation of European Paper Industries, Portuguese Paper Industry Association, Japanese Paper Association/Japanese Overseas Plantation Centre for Pulpwood, Corporación Nacional de la Madera – Chile, Swedish Federation of Forest Owner’s Associations and New Zealand Private Forest Owners Association;
• non-governmental organizations: World Conservation Union, World Wide Fund for Nature, Forest People’s Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development and International Federation of Building and Wood Workers/Building and Wood Workers International; and
• academics: University of Oxford.
FAO invited the government forest authorities of all countries to comment on the draft versions and held discussions and workshops in association with FAO Regional Forestry Commission meetings. The Organization is indebted to these various stakeholder groups, particularly governments, for their valuable feedback.
Additional feedback from the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other civil-society groups was obtained through international fora coordinated by the FAO Advisory Committee on Paper and Wood Products, Forest Dialogue, International Council of Forest and Paper Associations and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Forest Products Industries).
Further acknowledgements to Jim Ball and Ian Armitage for authoring and review of the draft document, to Lynn Ball for editing and layout, Roberto Cenciarelli for cover preparation, Veracel Company in Bahia, Brazil, for the cover photo and to Graciela Andrade for administrative support to the process.