Protecting the rights of, as well as creating opportunities for, indigenous communities is a key principle in FSC's approach to responsible forest management. FSC Australia has recognised for some time that to deliver a credible FSC Forest Stewardship Standard for Australia, the level of engagement with indigenous stakeholders needed targeted focus, expertise and resources.
FSCA is currently partnering with the Aboriginal Carbon Fund (AbCF) on a separate consultation process with Indigenous Australians, in recognition of the unique status of Indigenous Australians as the original forest owners and managers holding ownership of large forest areas in northern Australia, and also because modern approaches to consultation are not always culturally appropriate.
For more information: http://aboriginalcarbonfund.com.au/fsc-indigenous-engagement/
Central to FSC Australia's engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is our Indigenous Working Group (IWG).
The objective of the IWG is to provide representational and expert feedback to FSC Australia’s various processes on indigenous issues and forestry in Australia.
The IWG have played an important role in the development of the National Standard; the development and application of the Stakeholder Engagement Guidelines; and seeking opportunities for Indigenous Forest Enterprises seeking certification.
The working group is also responsible for overseeing the development, launch, and implementation of the RAP, as well as tracking and reporting on the progress of RAP actions.
The IWG aim to meet in person at least once per year and use teleconference facilities for other relevant meetings. Meeting and travel costs will be met.
Terms of Reference below.
Indigenous Communications Report
Following Expressions of Interest received, FSC Australia awarded the tender to Environment Land Heritage to provide us with advice as to how to effectively engage with Indigenous peoples in Australia.
This is a report to FSC Australia from the consultants that is under consideration. We will be actively seeking funding to ensure some of the recommendations in this report can be delivered.