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Monday, 25 February 2019
Expression of interest invited: FSC Indigenous Working Group 2018

FSC NZ fOREST (© Phil Taylor)© Phil Taylor

Email EOIs to info at au.fsc point org by 25th March 2019. Applications must address the key selection criteria.

FSC Australia is seeking Indigenous leaders to assist the National office to increase opportunities and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples (A&TSI) in all aspects of FSC forest management and supply chain in Australia. Working Group members will be remunerated a daily rate for engagement.

Background: The organisation

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, independent, not-for-profit, membership-based organization. Founded in 1993, the mission of FSC is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. In pursuit of this mission we undertake the following activities:

  • Develop standards for responsible forest management through inclusive and consultative mechanisms involving stakeholders with economic, social and environmental interests in forests;
  • Provide standards for maintaining the integrity of FSC certified forest products between the forest and the end customer through a Chain of Custody system;
  • Accredit independent certification bodies who certify forest managers as complying with these standards as well as processors, manufacturers and traders in forest products who maintain the chain of custody; and
  • Offer a global trademark that allows customers to recognise products that meet FSC forest management and chain of custody standards.

FSC Australia was established in 2006 to promote the international FSC mission in Australia and countries supplying the Australian forest products market. We are governed by our membership, which is divided into three chambers – environmental, economic and social. These chambers have equal representation on the Board.

In some countries, such as Canada, a fourth chamber represents Indigenous peoples, while in others Indigenous peoples are represented in one or more of the other chambers.

Background: The Project

Forests are important to the livelihood, culture and spirituality of Indigenous Peoples, and provide a critical source of income for many communities. Indigenous Traditional Owners have a unique, inherent right to be involved in decision-making about forests and plantations in their traditional Country. The broader Indigenous community, which includes Traditional Owners, have social, economic, health and environmental interests affected by the management of forests and plantations. FSC Australia recognises that it needs to engage with Traditional Owner groups and Indigenous communities to establish if and how they would like to be involved in operations of FSCA.

Objectives of the IWG

The IWG is established to provide representational and expert feedback, advice and guidance to FSCA’s various processes on indigenous issues and forestry in Australia.
As a priority the IWG will:
1. Work to maximise IWG Indigenous participation and membership in FSCA.
2. Develop, with the FSCA CEO and Board, a future governance model for the IWG which will incorporate a role for the FSCA Indigenous Forum.
3. Provide guidance to FSCA on ways that it can improve engagement with affected and interested Indigenous stakeholders regarding FSCA Membership, governance and promotion of FSCA.

The IWG will also provide advice, guidance and where possible assistance to FSCA on:4. The relevance and application of the FSC Australia Forest Stewardship Standard (FSCA-FSS); auditing; and developing standards around ecosystems services to Indigenous People
5. Certificate matters that impact on Indigenous people eg non compliance on Principle 3, breach of cultural heritage matters etc
6. The implementation of its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) during the first phase from May 2017 to May 2019
7. Ways to support Indigenous Forest Enterprises that are exploring opportunities to seek certification.
8. Seeking opportunities for training for Indigenous people to become accredited auditors as well as providing cultural awareness training to existing auditors
9. Ways that FSCA can support the aims and objectives of the National Indigenous Forestry Strategy, for example, exploring opportunities for supporting pilot programs with respect to certification
10. On opportunities to obtain financial assistance from Federal and State Governments, other publicly-funded agencies and institutions, and from philanthropic foundations to fund opportunities to engage with a variety of Indigenous communities; toolkits; travel expenses; and development of other communication products.

Responsibilities, reporting, and remuneration

The IWG shall conduct its tasks according to the Terms of Reference.

The IWG will work together throughout this process, discussing issues and interacting with each other as a group in and outside of meetings.

FSC Australia will provide administrative and technical support to the IWG. FSCA’s Policy and Advocacy Manager, will serve as the group’s contact point, overseeing its processes and any related documentation.

FSCA is a not for profit membership organization with limited funding. Participation in the IWG will be remunerated at a fee of $500 per day for face to face meetings only.

Other electronic meetings and participation through email will be voluntary. FSCA covers all reasonable travel and accommodation expenses related to the workplan upon submission of the respective invoices and receipts, and if expenses are agreed in advance.

FSCA will endeavor to provide an honorarium to IWG members where appropriate and feasible. The IWG may secure additional external funds through leveraging FSCA’s allocated funds and then develop an annual work program and budget consistent with the ToR to utilise all funds.

How to apply

Written expressions of interest should be emailed to info at au.fsc point org by 25th March 2019. Applicants are asked to address the key selection criteria detailing relevant experience.

• Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
• Demonstrated experience in working with Traditional Owners;
• Sound knowledge of Indigenous communities and the issues that affect them, including social, economic, health and environmental issues;
• Excellent written communication skills including experience in drafting reports.

Highly Desirable
• It is desirable to have experience in forestry and/or environmental assessment processes;
• Knowledge of government, corporate and philanthropic funding opportunities

For further information, please contact Policy and Advocacy Manager Julia Mylne j.mylne at au.fsc point org or info at au.fsc point org

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