Esri gifts geospatial technology to FSC valued at $1.8 million
As part of its efforts to protect the world’s forests, FSC is partnering with Esri, the world’s leading mapping technology company, to improve mapping of FSC-certified forests. Esri’s grant includes access to a complete ecosystem of geospatial tools, cloud infrastructure, and specialized technical support to advance FSC’s efforts towards sustainable forestry worldwide. The FSC / Esri collaboration will result in a comprehensive map of FSC-certified forest lands around the world, following a recently passed motion by the FSC membership.
FSC has utilized Esri software for many years, but the relationship developed further through Esri’s involvement in the FSC Technology Consortium, a group of tech industry leaders that meets monthly to discuss technology-based solutions to FSC’s unique challenges. Esri’s involvement allowed a deeper understanding of FSC’s mission and alignment of our mutual core values.
In addition to advanced licensing access, Esri's support includes network access for FSC affiliates and dedicated technical support—an agreement worth $1.8 million. The licensing and support package will serve to increase the accessibility of mapping software for forest stewards worldwide, especially Indigenous Peoples and community and family forest owners. Geographic Information Systems mapping, or GIS, offers a proven approach to help forest managers to track in real-time—and adapt to—changes in climate, population, and ecological pressures.
“Our collaboration with FSC reflects our shared commitment to advancing sustainability and the stewardship of forests and biodiversity around the world,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri Founder and President.
“This support from Esri is a game changer,” said Scot McQueen, FSC’s Senior Technology Officer. “Mapping and GIS are core to what we do here at FSC but it had been severely underutilized. The creation of a geospatial strategy helped FSC understand how the software might be more broadly applied. This software grant enables a wider application of that strategy. We now have the ability to get these geospatial tools into the hands of the staff who need them.”
The grant and additional support from Esri will also allow FSC to compile a digital map of all FSC-certified forests, advancing a motion passed by FSC’s 1,165 global members in 2021 which requires forest management certificate holders to provide FSC International with spatial data of their certified lands. This will help FSC achieve transparency in certification, a growing expectation as geospatial data becomes more widely available.