FSC's approach to pesticides
The FSC pesticides policy considers not only the hazard of the active ingredient, but also under what circumstances chemical pesticides is used.
The short-term objectives of the FSC Pesticides Policy is to reduce the overall volume and number of chemical pesticides and eliminate the use of the most hazardous ones. It also helps promote best practices to minimize risks to human health and the environment.
The long-term aim of this policy is to eliminate the use of chemical pesticides in FSC certified forests.
In the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council criterion 10.7 deals with chemical use.
Download the FSC Pesticides Policy
Implementation of the FSC Pesticides Policy
FSC has provided the information and a decision tree to assist with the interim implementation of the Pesticides Policy. Download this document below.
- FSC UK summary of pesticides policy revisions (UK specific but contains useful general information)
- Pesticides and Alternatives app
- FSC database of alternatives to pesticides
- FSC-POL-3--001a EN FSC Lists of Highly Hazardous Pesticides
On 1st August 2019 the revised FSC Pesticides Policy becomes effective and FSC-PRO-30-001 V1-0 EN Pesticides Derogation Procedure will be phased out.
From this date, FSC will no longer accept any derogation applications and certificate holders (CHs) shall instead conform with the requirements set out in INT-POL-30-001_07 (attached below) when using (or intending to use) chemical pesticides. For more information on transition arrangements and existing derogations please refer to page 8 of FSC-PRO-30-001 V3 FSC Pesticides Policy.
INT-POL-30-001_07 sets out important additional detail and timelines for implementing the revised pesticides policy.
Note: Derogations expiring between 31st March 2019 and 1st August 2020 have been extended until the end of this period, to allow certificate holders a smooth transition to the Environmental and Social Risk Assessment (ESRA) system.
Derogations are a temporary measure, during the period of the derogation the certified forest or plantation owner must actively look for options to reduce, remove or replace the derogated chemical. Derogations and Pesticide Policies are approved and set internationally.
Previous Pesticide Derogation processes and associated files for Australia are available for both 2016 and 2012.
Development of International Generic Indicators
The full implementation of the FSC Pesticides Policy requires the development of International Generic Indicators (IGIs). This process is in the early stages, FSC International has started to assemble a working group of technical experts.
Once the IGIs have been developed, probably by late 2020, it will be necessary to develop national indicators. FSC Australia and New Zealand will provide updates as this process progresses. As with all FSC standard development processes, there will be opportunities for stakeholders to share views and evidence.
There will be an interim period from the effective date of the policy until the IGI are incorporated to national standards. The length of the interim period may vary between different countries, depending on the timeline for the development and approval of national indicators.