The industrial development and the exceptional demographic growth verified throughout the twentieth century, led to an aggravation of Man’s impact on natural resources. Meanwhile, an increasing knowledge of the problems that threaten these resources, revealed the need to apply practices of management that guarantee its sustainability. The evidence that forests are between the natural resources more explored and simultaneously with bigger value of conservation gave birth to the Sustainable Forest Management Development concept that defends, according to the Second Ministerial Conference of Helksinki in 1993, that the administration and the use of the forests and forest areas should be performed in a way and to a rhythm that maintained its biodiversity, productivity, capacity of regeneration, vitality and potential to carry out in the present and in the future, ecological, economic and social prominent functions to the global, national, and regional levels, not interfering negatively with other ecosystems. So, initiatives had been developed, involving the market and the exploration of the forest resources, to avoid these negative and dangerous influences such as the certification of the forest management. The certification of the forest management consists of a formal and voluntary procedure, where a certifier entity, attributes a license for the use of a certification mark. This license recognizes that the forest management or the forest products in appraisal fulfils the requirements of a specific standard. In Portugal, the Quality Portuguese Institute created, in 2003, the Technical Commission of Standardization 145, whose aim was the development of the Portuguese Standard of Sustainable Forest Management (NP 4406) that described the requirements for a System of Sustainable Forest Management.
This standard permits the forest certification, requiring that the management of a Unit of Forest Management should be made according to six global criteria whose functions will characterize the essential elements, through which the sustainable forest management can be evaluated. The fulfilment of these criteria is evaluated by a set of twenty-two indicators. The project carried out applies the criteria and indicators set by the NP 4406 to a Unit of Forest Management, constituted by some properties in the center of Portugal, specifically land occupied by species other than eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus Labill. In conclusion, the project shows that, generalizing the application of the NP 4406 to small and big exploitations or even to regional instruments of forest planning, some difficulties appear in the evaluation of some indicators. The importance of some indicators varies with the scale of evaluation and for the small forest owners an evaluation of the forest management of this kind will not be relevant. However, in spite of considering that the present standard can be developed in some aspects, we think its implementation is positive and can contribute to improvements in forest management in Portugal.