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Consultation on National Risk Assessments development - ended

Background

National Risk Assessments (NRAs) provide a risk specification for categories of Controlled Wood (CW) in a given country or region. They are currently developed by FSC Network Partners in accordance with FSC-PRO-60-002 (v 2-0) FSC Controlled Wood Risk Assessments by FSC accredited National Initiatives, National andRegional offices.  NRAs and Risk Assessments developed by companies are based on the requirements specified in Annex 2 of the Controlled Wood standard FSC-STD-40-005 Standard for company evaluation of FSC Controlled Wood. Procedural requirements for development of NRAs including consultation on NRA content, aim to ensure appropriate risk determination for the country or region concerned.

Once approved by FSC, NRAs are the only source of risk determination and are mandatory for all companies sourcing from a country or region covered by the scope of the NRA, thus eliminating existing differences in company developed risk assessments. NRA development therefore directly strengthens the Controlled Wood system and has been recognized as one of the most important goals in the ongoing CW revision process.

The set of consulted documents includes the revised procedure (FSC-PRO-60-002) for the development of National Risk Assessments (NRA) and the newly developed addendum containing requirements for a proposed new process of risk determination, called the National Risk Assessment Framework (FSC-STD-60-002b).

Purpose

The revision of the NRA development procedure and the development of a National Risk Assessment Framework is needed to resolve membership concerns about the current content of the Controlled Wood standard FSC-STD-40-005 and difficulties in interpretation of requirements for risk assessments. The goals of the National Risk Assessment Framework include:

  • Establishing a globally-consistent, chamber-balanced, and rigorous approach for assessment and designation of risk associated with the five controlled wood risk categories
  • Providing local stakeholders a transparent process for contributing input to risk designations in areas where they live and work
  • Providing National Offices and stakeholders mechanisms for creating risk mitigation measures appropriate and effective for local conditions
  • Eliminating redundant efforts by companies for assessing risk conditions in areas where they operate
  • Facilitating the developmentof NRAs in countries without FSC Network Partners

To address above, a revised procedure for National Risk Assessments and a National Risk Assessment Framework have been drafted. These are based on guidance provided by the Controlled Wood Technical Committee.

New elements

Where previously the risk assessment processes resulted in the designation of the assessed area as ʻlow riskʼ or ʻunspecified riskʼ, a new category ‘specified risk’ has been introduced

The National Risk Assessment process will require an additional step to describe the nature and origin of the risk of sourcing material in specified risk areas.

For areas that are designated as ʻspecified riskʼ a set of ʻcontrol measuresʻ will be provided.
Companies aiming to mitigate risk within the given area are required to implement these measures. The control measures will be developed with consideration to the risk specification and national circumstances.
The current draft of the NRA Framework provides stakeholders with exemplary control measures and guidance on how they shall be determined.

The intended impact is to ensure a more detailed risk analysis that will also be more transparent and robust and will ultimately provide more possibilities for companies to source controlled material.

At the same time, the requirements forcategory 3 related to High Conservation Values (HCV) are strengthened in the proposed framework, including both HCV identification and proposed means of mitigating risk.

Consultation

At this stage several issues pertaining to risk determination and requirements for Controlled Wood are still under discussion. As part of the consultation process some of these issues have been formulated as direct notes or questions to stakeholders.

The main goal associated with the consultation is to seek for Stakeholders feedback to find solution for not agreed sections of the documentation.

Feedback will be carefully analysed and incorporated in subsequent drafts of the Procedure and National Risk Assessment Framework with the aim of meeting stakeholder expectations and further improvement of the proposed amendments.

Due to the importance of the Controlled Wood revision process and future implications of the introduced changes, FSC asks for strong stakeholder participation and highly welcomes your comments, question and suggestions.

Please provide your comments using the attached comment form and send them to Joanna Nowakowska at j.nowakowska at fsc point org.

The deadline for submitting comments on English version is 15 September 2013.
The deadline for submitting comments on Spanish version is 15 September 2013.

Documents

FSC-PRO-60-002 v 3-0 The Development and Approval of Controlled Wood National Risk Assessments

This procedure specifies how NRAs should be developed and reviewed, including requirements for stakeholder consultation and communication with FSC International.

The current draft introduces the following main changes:

  • The opportunity for chamber-balanced NRA Working Groups approved by FSC to develop NRAs
  • Clarification that NRAs must provide risk specification for all 5 categories of Controlled Wood
  • References to the National Risk Assessment Framework as the document that specifies NRA content and requirements for risk determination
  • Process guidance and templates to facilitate NRA development
  • National Risk Assessment template in order to standardize future NRAs

FSC-PRO-60-002b v 1-0 Addendum: FSC National Risk Assessment Framework

This document specifies the process and requirements for risk determination, including the introduction of a new category ‘specified risk’.

The framework assumes 6 main steps in the determination of risk:

  • Baseline assessment – definition of the scope and any related issues in the country concerned
  • Research – gathering information and data sources to be used for risk determination in accordance with the indicators and thresholds specified for each category
  • Spatial scale determination – division of areas under assessment. For those areas and circumstances where spatial scale is not sufficient to specific risk, a non-geographical scale can also be applied, e.g. referring to ownership or type of the forests. Scale can differ between the categories of Controlled Wood
  • Evaluation of conformance – assessment whether indicators and thresholds in each category are met and what kind of risk can be determined within the given area
  • Risk specification – determination of the nature of the risk
  • Establishment of control measures - determination of the control measures for the areas and circumstances of ‘specified risk’ for each category

The above steps are further detailed for each category, providing sources of information, practical guidance and examples of control measures in case of specified risk.

The National Risk Assessment Framework is intended to provide as much practical guidance for the risk assessment process as possible.

Get Involved!

Now in high gear, the Controlled Wood revision process offers many opportunities for your participation – including two rounds of stakeholder consultation on the standard drafts.

Got Feedback?

Contact Joanna Nowakowska at j.nowakowska at fsc point org

Read more

Read more on revision of the Controlled Wood system here.

Webinar recordings available!

To download webinar recordings related to consultation on revised Controlled Wood documents visit this website.