Through the FSC® certification, forest managers can demonstrate the positive impact of their management activities on these services, scientifically quantifying the benefits deriving from the conservation or improvement of each of the following services. In particular, the verification of natural services involved 5 factors:
- Conservation of biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for balanced ecosystems and supports all the other ecosystem services, providing an adequate habitat for many plant and animal species;
- Carbon storage and sequestration. Forests occupy about 30% of the land and contain 77% of the world carbon stored in the topsoil;
- Water regulation services. The root system of forests influences the structure of the soil, increases retention, infiltration and absorption of water while reducing the surface flow of water;
- Soil conservation. The root system of trees protects and preserves the soil from erosion, while the foliage reduces the physical impact of rain on the soil, avoiding the leaching of nutrients;
- Recreational services. The access and quality of infrastructure (trails, camping, etc.), the natural aspects of the forest and the intensity of forestry activities determine the recreational attractiveness of the forests.