The discussion was wide-ranging and included topics such as engaging smallholders, planned national engagement in the International Generic Indicators process, and national risk assessments for controlled wood.
The event opened with the introduction and remarks from FSC Canada’s new President, Mr. François Dufresne, who highlighted the remarkable successes of FSC Canada and outlined the challenges ahead. Julian Nierentz, Key Account Manager from FSC IC, also gave opening remarks and highlighted market perspectives and trends from the 2011 Global Survey. Strategic directions for both FSC US and FSC Canada were presented by Brad Kahn, Communications Director of FSC US, and Mr. Dufresne respectively. The second session focused on the revisions to FSC’s Principles and Criteria and the subsequent International Generic Indicators process, with presentations from Richard Robertson (Forest Program Coordinator, FSC IC) and John Cathro (FSC Board of Directors). The focus of the discussion was on the planned top-down and bottom-up approaches to developing the indicators, including the role and timing of engagement with national offices to ensure their input into indicator development and coordination the transfer process for national standards.
An insightful discussion followed about how companies could engage with smallholders in order to increase supply and improve forest management practices in countries where companies source from. Cases from India, Canada, and the US were presented by Angeline Gough (FSC IC Smallholder Support Manager), Orrin Quinn (FSC Manager for Ecotrust Canada) and Ian Hanna (Director of Business Development, FSC US). The Smallholder Support Program was also introduced at the session and the discussion ranged on how FSC IC could support and enable group certification of smallholders with company engagement and guidance. The final session was presented by John Cathro and focused on the phase-out of company risk assessments for controlled wood and development of national risk assessments by national offices. The discussion focused on the pros and cons of this approach and included very informed perspectives on this issue from the businesses and certification bodies that were present.
A cocktail reception hosted by FSC Canada followed the forum and many connections and informal discussion ensued. FSC Canada, FSC IC, and FSC US would like to thank everyone for attending and participating in the event. Special thanks go to WWF US for sponsoring the event, especially the session on company engagement with smallholders. Their contribution to this event and support for smallholders in the FSC system was much appreciated.