The certification organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) took a step toward allowing timber companies that have cut down forests since 1994 to apply for the organization’s stamp of approval. Since its inception 23 years ago, the FSC has refused to certify any company that has deforested areas in order to convert them to timber plantations. While the passage of Motion 7 at the General Assembly meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Oct. 13 does not change this, its approval by the organization’s membership – comprising private companies, individuals and conservation NGOs – indicates that the council’s requirements could change. Proponents argue that the measure would increase access to certification in developing economies. But some question how effective certification actually is and say that changing the cutoff date could increase the destruction of forests.