The FSC Principles and Criteria (P&C) specify the core requirements for the certification of responsible forest management and form the basis for the National Forest Stewardship Standards. The P&C were recently revised and, as a consequence, existing National Standards also need to be revised to reflect these changes. The ‘Transfer Process’ refers to the process of revising and transferring existing National Standards to match the new structure and content of the revised P&C. Thirty-seven countries are actively involved in this important process, which indicates the magnitude of this challenge.
Three important meetings took place in June 2013: the International Generic Indicators (IGI) Group met in Spain for the third time; the Global Network met in Germany; and the FSC Board of Directors met in Russia. As a result of these meetings, several decisions have been made regarding the Transfer Process. Following is a summary of the main decisions.
General deadline extended to 31 December 2015
As requested by the FSC Network, the FSC Board of Directors agreed to extend the general deadline of the Transfer Process by one year to 31 December 2015. This is the deadline by which participating countries are expected to submit their revised National Standards for approval. As before, exceptions to this deadline are possible if a justifiable request is received and approved by the FSC Policy and Standards Unit.
New ‘Transfer Procedure’
A Transfer Procedure will be developed to provide a formal framework for the Transfer Process. The Global Network Meeting resulted in the request to develop this procedure, which was then approved by the IGI Steering Committee. Gordian Fanso, Policy Manager for FSC National Standards, will soon issue a call for Working Group volunteers, and also provide further details on the development of the Transfer Procedure. The Transfer Procedure should be ready by the end of 2013.
Revised Transfer Template
A Transfer Template must be completed by each country to confirm participation in the Transfer Process. It contains a workplan, a timeline and details of the national context. A revised version of the Transfer Template will be published together with the new Transfer Procedure, to facilitate the process. Since the general deadline has been extended, all countries that had already completed and submitted the template to FSC will have the opportunity to revise and re-submit their applications. This process will be guided by the Policy and Standards Unit, which will soon be contacting all relevant countries.
An informative document explaining the IGI process, the Transfer Process, and how they are interconnected will also be developed to replace the current ‘Briefing paper’. This document will describe the background and purpose of the processes, the methodology being followed, the participating bodies and their responsibilities, and a general timeline.
For more information contact Rosario Galán, IGI Group Coordinator, at r.galan at fsc point org.