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November : FSC Africa News

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17 November, 2014

FSA Africa News

1. Southern African Developments

Centralized National Risk Assessment update

The risk assessments for each Controlled Wood category of unacceptable sources are ongoing and close to being completed for the consultation periods beginning in November 2014.

From November, assessments for different categories in different countries will be made available for stakeholder consultation internationally, on the FSC International website, as they are finalized.

For categories 1 and 5 (related to illegality and use of genetically modified organisms), reviews of the first draft assessments have been carried out. Based on the reviews, revised drafts have been completed and an additional round of review by international- or national-level experts has been scheduled.

For category 2 (related to traditional and human rights), assessments are in the final stages and plan to be ready for international consultation to take place within the month.

The pilot assessment for category 3 (related to high conservation values) is ongoing in Brazil and Finland, with its results being consulted with the respective National Risk Assessment (NRA) Working Groups. The plan is to undertake this assessment in South Africa prior to the end of 2014.

License and Service Agreement for Non Certificate Holders for the FSC Certification Scheme

We are glad to announce that License and Service Agreement for Non Certificate Holders for the FSC Certification Scheme have been signed between FSC Global Development GmbH and the following:

  • Woolworths Holdings
  • World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa

These are the first of its kind in the African Region and are granted for a period of five (5) years. The Agreement grants to the Licensee a royalty free, revocable, non-exclusive and non-transferable license to use the Licensed Material for promotional use in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the Agreement. The Licensee commits to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests and to dissociate and abstain from unacceptable forest practices and the violation of the principles and criteria of the FSC Certification Scheme.


2. East Africa Developments

WWF Kenya Country office organized a workshop with the objective of consolidating recent requirements affecting Kenya Standard development Process, the meeting focused on how to handle the process and  areas of engagement with FSC East Africa office in streamlining  the process in Kenya.

Uganda Standard Development Group (SDG) held a meeting to provide inputs to the draft National FSC Standard. Among issues discussed were the National HCV and related indicators, aspects of Scale, Intensity and Risk (SIR) associated with the IGI process, indicators related to FPIC and indigenous people rights. National indicators derived from national and International legislations were reviewed.

Green Resources confirms strong commitment to FSC

Green Resources (GR) participated in the celebration of FSC's 20th anniversary and the 7th General Assembly. At the same time GR stressed the importance of forest management certification to help move plantation forestry in Africa forward.  Please find attached GR press release attached.

FSC closes the investigation of New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations
FSC has decided to close its investigation of the allegations that were raised by Oxfam about violations of FSC's Principles & Criteria by New Forests Company (NFC) in September 2011.

Oxfam reported violations of land ownership and use rights by NFC. Following successful mediation by the compliance advisor ombudsman, NFC has reached agreement with both affected communities - Mubende and Kibogo. The mediation resulted in all parties signing an agreement that represents full and final settlement between each of the affected communities and NFC.  The compliance advisor ombudsman continues to monitor progress to ensure successful implementation of the agreements. To learn more about the mediations conducted by the compliance advisor ombudsman, please go to http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/

FSC welcomes the outcome of the mediations and although these did not address issues of compliance with FSC's Principles & Criteria, FSC believes that further investigation into the case would be counterproductive in the current context.  FSC has therefore decided to cancel the earlier announced compliance investigation by Accreditation Services International (ASI) and has informed ASI that it has closed this case. FSC will continue to closely monitor the relationship between the New Forests Company and the communities through the regular certification cycle.

For more information, please see https://ic.fsc.org/oxfam-uganda.356.htm


3. Congo Basin Developments

FSC Congo Basin Office supported by KfW through the Program to Promote Certified Forest Management (PPECF)

PPECF is a Project funded by KfW, and implemented by COMIFAC (Central African Forests Commission).

PPECF will support FSC Congo Basin Office to consolidate its strategy for the Sub-Region, especially within the National Forest Stewardship Standard development processes.

FSC National Forest Stewardship Standards (NFSSs) Development in Congo Basin
To be consistent with this process, and because of national and/or regional particularities, it has appeared more than relevant to the FSC Congo Basin Office to start with the phase of FSC® National Standards Adaptation/Development in the following countries: Cameroon; Democratic Republic of Congo; Gabon; Republic of Congo.

Some differences in the process between these four targeted countries are expected, especially about methods of implementation, according to the pre-existence or not of a current FSC® National Standard.

Thanks to the support of the PPECF Project and the Regional Program for Central Africa of World Wildlife Fund  ( WWF-CARPO), Four National Kick-Off Meetings are planned between end of November and December 2014 in these four targeted countries, to present:

  • The Standard Development Group established in each country and formally recognized by FSC Policy and Standards Unit;
  • The Consultative Forum.

During these Kick-Off Meetings, the chairman of each Standard Development Group will be elected.

A Call for Interest to establish these two organs in each country has been launched the 14th October 2014.

4. Controlled Wood Company Risk Assessments

The FSC Board of Directors has extended the phase-out date for company risk assessments for sourcing FSC Controlled Wood (CW) from 31 December 2014 to 31 December 2015.

The decision was made on the basis of recommendations from the CW working bodies responsible for the ongoing revision of the CW system.  These recommendations took the following into account:

  • Stakeholder feedback received during the latest rounds of stakeholder consultation on the revised CW normative documents;
  • Additional feedback from discussions during CW side meetings at the recent FSC General Assembly; and
  • Agreement between members of the chamber-balanced CW Technical Committee responsible for the revision of the CW system.

At present, certified organizations may develop their own risk assessments for sourcing CW in areas where FSC National Risk Assessments (NRAs) have not been approved, following the requirements of the FSC ‘Controlled Wood - Chain of Custody' (CW-CoC) standard FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1. The revised version of this standard will remove this option. Instead, Interim Risk Assessments (that follow the revised, strengthened requirements for risk assessment) will be allowed, but only until the end of 2017. After this, FSC risk assessments will be the only source of risk designations for sourcing CW.

The implementation of this revised standard will be postponed so that certificate holders and certification bodies have more time to adapt their operations to the revised standard, which contains substantial changes that significantly strengthen the current requirements. This also allows more time for field testing of the revised standards. The revised standard is planned to be made effective by July 2015.

Details on the implementation of the revised standard, and rules for transitioning to it from the current standard, are being discussed and will be decided upon at a later date.

5. General Assembly 2014

Representation and participation by Africa FSC members, stakeholders and representatives.

  • At the Side Event organized by FSC International, "From Forests to the Markets" - Mpingo Conservation Development Initiative from Tanzania showcased challenges and opportunities for Smallholders under FSC Certification;
  • A side event organized by ATIBT/WWF CARPO, "Increasing Demand for Tropical Timber to preserve tropical forests in the Congo Basin" This side event discussed the advantages of FSC certification in tropical natural forests in central Africa.
  • At the side event on "Certification for communities in the South: A new approach" a video was presented by Steve Germishuizen on the Ozwathini Project in KwaZulu Natal.
  • A much talked about side event organized by Greenpeace, Rainforest Alliance, SSC, TNC, WCS, WWF; titled  "Restoration & Conversion, A vision for the Future "  Kilombero Valley Teak Company presented an African case study on ‘Is limited conversion of degraded forests part of the problem or part of the solution!
  • The FSC+20 Forum was a platform where today's leaders in business, policy, advocacy and human rights had an open discussion about the greatest challenges facing our forests, our planet, and the future of FSC.  In the Forest +20 Forum "Good money Increasing the social and environmental returns from forest investments" the CEO of Green Resources was one of the speakers.
  • The FSC +20 Session held on "Tropical forests in trouble: How can certification be a tool to maintain key tropical forest ecosystems"? The Minister of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) H.E. Henry Djombo was a speaker.

Developing communication for the environmental south sub-chamber

At the recent General Assembly, the attending members of the environmental south sub-chamber had an opportunity to meet face-to-face, most for the very first time. It was a great moment of putting faces to names, and a sharing of ideas and challenges faced differently by all. Three points are worth mentioning here.

  • Firstly, a major challenge for the environmental south members is language.
  • Secondly, FSC has suffered its greatest loss in global membership from the environmental south sub-chamber, and this is a cause for contemplation. Africa is a region where the environmental representation needs to be bolstered. To do this, we need to understand the factors that operate and influence matters there, and seek realistic means to address this decline.
  • And finally, to deliver southern issues better to the global environmental chamber, and to communicate better, the group felt the need for closer, and more regular, communication within the sub-chamber. To move this forwards, a coordinator was appointed. Marvin Centeno, from Nicaragua, was appointed as our coordinator. His email is marvin.centeno@gmail.com.

IGIs & Transfer Process presentation

Following a successful side meeting at the 2014 General Assembly (GA), Rosario Galán, IGI Project Coordinator from FSC International, shares some facts about the process of developing the IGIs, including the results of the public consultations.  Find attached the presentation.

6. Smallholders Update 2014

The third Smallholders Update of 2014 is now ready to download. This edition brings news from smallholders in Portugal and South Africa and tells about the successful Smallholder Support Program's side event at the FSC General Assembly in Seville.

Learn more about the Smallholder Support Program here, find previous Updates here, and learn more about the Smallholders Fund here.

7. Commitment to the protection of workers' rights

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has strong rules to ensure the protection of workers' rights and is committed to finding a stakeholder-based solution to how these rules can be implemented in practice in all FSC-certified organizationsThis renewed statement of commitment follows the contentious failure of a motion at FSC's recent General Assembly of its global membership.

The motion would have required all relevant bodies inside FSC to interpret compliance with the rights of workers in accordance with the jurisprudence of the ILO.

FSC Director General, Kim Carstensen, explained that the failure of the motion was not a rejection of the principles of the ILO Conventions.

"FSC remains committed to these principles, which are key to protecting workers' rights. The principles are clearly inscribed in fundamental FSC rules, and nothing has changed in these. Enhancing forest workers' social and economic well-being is, and remains one of FSC's ten principles," said Mr. Carstensen.

Criterion 2.1 of the FSC Principles demands that FSC certificate holders: "shall uphold the principles and rights at work as defined in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) based on the eight ILO Core Labour Conventions".

"The ideas expressed in the failed motion are still on the table in FSC's continued discussions on how workers' rights can be protected in practice in FSC-certified organizations across the world. We have strong rules already, but for FSC rules are just the starting point. The important thing is to ensure that the rules are also implemented.

"As has been agreed long before the General Assembly, we are establishing a chamber-balanced working group to look into exactly these issues. Those who voted against the motion are engaged in using the working group as a vehicle to an agreed solution. This is how we work in FSC: Getting our members together, across chambers, to find an agreed solution. I look forward to working with the trade unions and all other stakeholders inside FSC to identify solutions that can protect workers' rights in practice all over the world," explained Mr. Carstensen.

8. Chain of Custody

FSC is pleased to announce the publication of the following three revised normative Chain of Custody (COC) documents:

  • Chain of Custody Certification of Multiple Sites (FSC-STD-40-003 V2-0)

    Summary of main changes:

    • The new standard clarifies that, under certain conditions, single COC certificates can also include more than one site.
    • The multi-site eligibility criteria are improved in order to avoid separate legal entities without centrally administered and controlled management system accessing multi-site certification.
    • Improved requirements on the competence and qualification of Certificate Managers and Central Office auditors.
    • The revised standard provides clear rules on the size and how to increase the number of Participating Sites within the scope of the certificate.
    • Each Participating Site will be required to use a sub-code on sales documents of FSC-certified products. Specific guidance on this will be provided by FSC in the coming weeks
  • Accreditation Standard for Chain of Custody Evaluations (FSC-STD-20-011 V2-0)

    Summary of main changes:
    • The standard was completely restructured to streamline the requirements and eliminate redundancies.
    • Improved requirements on Controlled Wood, Multi-site and Group evaluations.
    • A new risk-based approach for the determination of sampling intensity in group/multi-site evaluations is introduced.
    • The Certification Bodies' reporting requirements are streamlined.
  • Development of National Group Chain of Custody Eligibility Criteria (FSC-PRO-40-003 V1-1)

    Summary of main changes:

    • The document code is changed from FSC-PRO-40-002 to FSC-PRO-40-003, to align with the code of the merged group and multi-site standard FSC-STD-40-003.
    • The procedure is aligned with the revised wording of FSC-STD-40-003. The wording changes do not affect the material content of the procedure, which remains unchanged.

Effective dates
FSC-STD-40-003 V2-0 and FSC-STD-20-011 V2-0 will become effective on 1 January 2015.
FSC-PRO-40-003 V1-1 will become effective immediately.

9. Interesting Snippets

FSC and Fashion

Stella McCartney has reinforced her commitment to sustainability by partnering with Livia Firth's Eco-Age for the launch of the 2014 London Stella McCartney Green Carpet Collection at London Fashion Week.  In support of the Forest Stewardship Council's mission to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests, a forest room was re-created from trees, shrubbery, grasses and wood stumps from Pinewood studios' previous and future film productions.

Stella McCartney comments:

"This collection is a huge step towards what I always have aimed to achieve, to push the boundaries and stereotypes of sustainable fashion by proving that it is possible to create and deliver beautiful, luxurious eveningwear causing little to no harm to the environment."

Each aspect of the collection has been dedicated to creating fashion that respects the environment as much as possible ensuring zero deforestation, supporting ethical production, working towards carbon reduction, reusing and recycling of archival fabrics, ensuring the use of organic materials and through the sourcing decisions made, it supports local restoration efforts in the Argentina Grasslands.

Stella McCartney have committed to ensuring that all of their cellulose fibres are sustainably certified and do not contribute to the destruction of forests.

FSC launches advice to public authorities on sustainable wood use in construction

FSC has just launched a briefing for public procurers interested in sustainable construction. Public authorities and construction firms need to work closely together to ensure the origin of that wood. FSC has procedures in place to make that happen and is ready to assist. The briefing introduces the steps to take and follow up. It also directs to further FSC information sources.

Updated list of approved derogations for the use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (FSC-GUI-30-001a)

Attached to this newsletter is the updated list of approved derogations for the use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (FSC-GUI-30-001a).

This addendum to the FSC Guidance on the implementation of the Pesticides Policy lists the temporary derogations that have been approved for the use of pesticides considered by FSC to be ‘highly hazardous'. These derogations have been individually approved by the FSC Pesticides Committee on behalf of the FSC Board of Directors. Derogations have only been approved where the requirements in FSC-PRO-01-004 (V2-2) EN were met and they include strict conditions to be fulfilled by the certificate holders during the derogation period.

The document is also available on the FSC website.

Download the following documents:

If you have any feedback or questions please e-mail
Chris Burchmore at c.burchmore@fsc.org.

Contact: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

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