National Standard - Timeline Update

November 8th 2017 - FSC Australia submitted Draft 6 of the National Forest Stewardship Standard (AFSS) to FSC International’s Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) on the 15th August 2017 with the view to being considered at the PSC decision meeting in October 2017.

Unfortunately, the AFSS was not considered during the October decision meeting due to time constraints. PSU have decided It will instead be proposed for discussion at the decision meeting in February 2018. Updates will continue to be provided on an as needs basis.


National Standard Progress Update

5 October 2017 – Recently the ILO Sub-Committee of the SDG achieved consensus on Principle 2 and the riparian and water Sub-Committee has agreed on the definitions relating to indicator 6.7.2 riparian protection.


FSC Australia has submitted Draft 6 of the National Forest Stewardship Standard (AFSS) to FSC International’s Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) on the 15th August 2017. This draft will be considered by the Policy and Standards Committee (PSC) at its decision meeting in mid October 2017. If the draft AFSS is approved, FSC Australia will be tasked with facilitating its implementation.


Draft FSC Australia – Forest Stewardship Standard (AFSS) was lodged with the FSC International’s Policy and Standards Unit

3 July 2017 - The Draft FSC Australia – Forest Stewardship Standard (AFSS) was lodged with the FSC International’s Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) on 31 March 2017. This was expected to be considered by the Policy and Standards Committee (PSC) at its May 2017 meeting. As earlier advised, FSC Australia’s Standards Development Group (SDG) had achieved consensus on all but three areas:

  • Principle 2 - Workers’ Rights and Employment Conditions;
  • Annex D - Restoration and Management Measures for Representative Sample Areas; and
  • Definitions relating to Riparian Protection - Criterion 6.7.2.
  • FSC Australia’s submission was one of several received by PSU in March with outstanding areas of disagreement. PSU sought guidance from PSC regarding the management of submissions with unresolved areas of disagreement.

    PSC’s guidance was that it will not mediate or choose between options, but substitute the applicable International Generic Indicators (IGIs) where national SDGs are unable to reach consensus or a majority view.

    Accordingly, in May 2017 PSU requested that FSC Australia’s SDG be re-engaged to further consider Principle 2 and the riparian definitions. PSU also advised that PSC was reviewing the global indicators for Representative Sample Areas to ensure consistent interpretation.

    The National Office is facilitating discussions within the relevant sub-committees of the SDG. Should the sub-committees make progress, this will be considered by the full SDG.


    The earliest that the draft AFSS could be considered by PSC is October this year.


    National Standard to be Reviewed by FSC International

    3rd March 2017: FSC Australia's National Board approved submission of the FSC Australia - Forest Stewardship Standard to FSC International on 30 January 2017 and the National Office has proceeded with submission accordingly.

    Generally, the FSC approval and implementation process for National Standards can take between 12 and 18 months. In Australia’s case, this process may take longer given that there are three areas of non-consensus that need to be resolved.

    To recap, the Standards Development Group were able to reach agreement on all but three areas, being:

    • Principle 2 - Workers’ Rights and Employment Conditions;
    • Annex D - Restoration and Management Measures for Representative Sample Areas; and
    • Definitions relating to Riparian Protection - Criterion 6.7.2.

    FSC International will consider and provide advice on how best to resolve these outstanding areas of disagreement as part of its review.

    FSC Australia will provide stakeholders with further updates as the review and approval process continues to progress.

    For any enquiries about the National Standard process please contact b.royce@au.fsc.org


    Submission of Draft National Standard to FSC Australia Board

    4th February 2017: FSC Australia's National Board approved submission of the FSC Australia - Forest Stewardship Standard to FSC International on 30 January 2017 and the National Office has proceeded with submission accordingly.

    To recap, last year saw the Standard progress between Drafts 3 and 4, with stakeholder feedback equipping the Standards Development Group to reach agreement on a number of areas. These included the High Conservation Values Framework, a simplified approach to Scale Intensity and Risk, a refined approach around Sustainable Yield, and with the help of our Indigenous Work Group, culturally appropriate and robust controls around Indigenous Rights. The draft Standard also includes new requirements for social impact evaluation and refined provisions for engagement with stakeholders and local communities.

    Submission of the Standard to FSC International represents an important milestone in the history of FSC Australia and responsible forest management in Australia. After three years of discussions and development, the Standards Development Group were able to achieve consensus on all but three areas relating to workers rights, riparian definitions and representative sample areas (Annex D) and as part of its review, FSC International will consider and provide advice on how best to resolve these outstanding areas.

    Thank you for remaining engaged and supporting us to create a Standard that truely reflects the aspirations of the Australian community.

    We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of FSC International’s review and the resolution of outstanding areas.


    Submission Process Update

    20th December 2016: This year we saw the Standard progress between Drafts 3 and 4, with stakeholder feedback equipping the Standards Development Group to reach agreement on a number of areas. These included the High Conservation Values Framework, a simplified approach to Scale Intensity and Risk, a refined approach around Sustainable Yield, and with the help of our Indigenous Work Group, culturally appropriate and robust controls around Indigenous Rights. The draft Standard also includes new requirements for social impact evaluation and refined provisions for engagement with stakeholders and local communities.

    After three years of discussions and development, this month the Standards Development Group agreed on a draft to be submitted to FSC International. Whilst the group were unable to reach consensus on three important areas relating to workers rights, riparian definitions and representative sample areas (Annex D), their approval of the balance of the Standard is an amazing achievement.

    FSC Australia will work through its National Board to support FSC International in their review of the draft Standard and resolution of outstanding areas.

    FSC Australia acknowledges the tremendous efforts of the Standards Development Group and their work to date. We also want to thank members and stakeholders who took the time to provide feedback on drafts of the Standard and provide input over the last three year. Thank you so much for remaining engaged and supporting us to create a Standard that truely reflects the aspirations of the Australian community.


    Draft 4 of the FSC Australia FSC Standard has been released

    UPDATE: (25th November 2016) - Principle 2 Consultation Period Extended to 30 November 2016

    Principle 2 Forest Testing Results

    FSC Australia has received a number of enquiries regarding the forest testing results for Principle 2 of the FSC Australia Forest Stewardship Standard.

    The forest testing results for Principle 2 were not included in the forest testing report released publicly with Draft 4 of the Standard.

    FSC Australia advises that the decision not to release the results was informed by the fact that the Standards Development Group - while having reviewed and considered the results - did not have the opportunity to amend Principle 2 in response given its focus on critical aspects of Criterion 2.1. As announced at the release of Principle 2 for the Draft 4 consultation round, Criteria 2.2 to 2.6 had been retained as per Draft 3.

    Given stakeholder requests for the Principle 2 forest testing results, FSC Australia has made these available at the link below and will extend the Principle 2 consultation period until Wednesday, 30 November 2016.

    For those who wish to revisit their submission or make an additional contribution, please notify FSC Australia’s Policy and Projects Manager at j.steinbach at au.fsc point org.

    In progressing Principle 2, the Standards Development Group will continue to consider the forest testing results, and stakeholders will be informed of how these results and consultation feedback have informed the development of Principle 2.

    Thank you to those who have provided submissions to date on Principle 2 and other areas of the Standard.


    Principle 2 Forest Testing Results: https://goo.gl/uaHXBB



    UPDATE: (26th October 2016) Principle 2 has now been released and is open for public comment.
    Close for comment is on the 25th November 2016.

    Despite continuing efforts, a consensus position on Criterion 2.1 has not yet been reached. However, discussions aimed at achieving consensus are ongoing. Given the focus on critical aspects of Criterion 2.1, the Standards Development Group (SDG) have not revised Criteria 2.2 to 2.6 and these are currently retained as per Draft 3. Stakeholders are welcome to provide further feedback on Criteria 2.2 to 2.6.

    A discussion paper has been prepared through consultation with the ILO Sub-Committee of the SDG to provide stakeholders with an overview of the issues and points of difference specifically relating to Criterion 2.1. Feedback is sought from stakeholders to aid the SDG in reaching agreement.

    Criterion 2.1 Discussion Paper: https://goo.gl/nqL37d
    Principle 2 (Criteria 2.2 to 2.6): https://goo.gl/J6u2jM
    Feedback Form: https://goo.gl/cfQ05A




    Elements of Draft 4 of the FSC Australia - Forest Stewardship Standard are now available for review and feedback from stakeholders and members.

    The current document represents all elements of this draft of the standard with the exception of Principle 2. To provide more time to reach consensus on Criteria 2.1, Principle 2 is not be included in this 4th draft.

    Consultation on all other elements of Draft 4 will close on the 10th of November

    The Standard: https://goo.gl/R2KT4L
    Feedback Form: https://goo.gl/cfQ05A
    Forest Test: https://goo.gl/bTZXQf
    Summary of Stakeholder Feedback to Draft 3: https://goo.gl/QTbMcv
    Summary of Draft 3 Consultation Feedback on the High Conservation Values Framework: https://goo.gl/nGQtxw


    Also: An open Google Group discussion has been created below. You can view updates and topics, or join the group and get involved in questions, answers and discussions.


    Update: June 2016

    National Standard Update

    Public Consultation in Draft 3 of the Forest Stewardship Council Australia Forest Stewardship Standard closed in May. Overall the Draft received more submissions than any other to date. Overall more than 40 submissions were received with a relatively even spread across Economic, Social and Environmental interests represented. In terms of the scope of feedback the bulk of interest was across four key areas of the standard:

    High Conservation Values - HCVs (20 submissions)
    Principle 6 - Environmental Values (28 Submissions)
    Principle 5 - Benefits of the Forest (16 submissions)
    Principle 2 - Workers’ Rights (15 submissions)

    Across these the bulk of interest was across 5 key issues:

    Old Growth Forests (HCVs)
    Riparian Protection (Principle 6)
    Representative Sample Areas (Principle 6)
    Sustainable Yield (Principle 5)
    Intersection of International Law/National Law regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining (Principle 2).

    This was expected to some degree given the differences in opinion, complexity and importance of these issues!

    The Standards Development Group (SDG) is currently reviewing feedback as well as working with auditors to test the audibility of the draft in their preparation of Draft 4. We are also reviewing timelines and processes moving forward and these will communicated soon.

    For more information: d.mackey at au.fsc point org



    The draft standard can be downloaded here: https://goo.gl/aKqlrd

    UPDATE: (22nd April)The Second Draft of the High Conservation Values (HCV) Framework has now been released and is open for public comment. Close for comment is on the 20th of May. The draft framework constitutes an annex to the FSC Australia – Forest Stewardship Standard (FSCA - FSS). It is for use in the implementation of Principle 9 (HCVs) of the standard.


    The framework can be downloaded here: https://goo.gl/ba6reS

    (12th April Update - please note the draft uploaded on the 4th had the wrong indicator wording for 6.9.2, p53. This has now been fixed.)

    Stakeholders can download the form for providing feedback here: https://goo.gl/ZNSVE1

    A spreadsheet comparing each Draft 3 indicators with Draft 2 as well as the International Generic Indicator: https://goo.gl/RP9lfr

    Further supporting documents for consultation as well as the next draft of the High Conservation Values (HCV) Management Framework will be released in the next week along with further information on key issues and topics for discussion.

    A webinar was held on the 7th of April that included an overview of key differences between the previous draft and this one as well as notes on the consultation and timelines.
    The webinar can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zKGI8Prufw&fe […]
    Notes from the webinar can be viewed and downloaded here: https://goo.gl/0J3ODt

    Consultation:

    • Weekly webinars (Thursday 4pm) to explore key themes, as well as additional issue-specific webinars to accommodate schedules.
    • Simpler feedback requirements, only looking for commentary and proposed solutions.
    • Participants encouraged to submit commentary as they move through key issues, i.e. not required to send one big submission.
    • Whilst formal public consultation closes on the 8th of May, webinars and discussion will continue through to FSC Australia’s AGM and Policy Forum on the 26th of May.

    Webinars:


    7th of April:
    A webinar was held on the 7th of April that included an overview of key differences between the previous draft and this one as well as notes on the consultation and timelines.
    The webinar can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zKGI8Prufw&fe […]
    Notes from the webinar can be viewed and downloaded here: https://goo.gl/Jza6wl


    14 April:Notes: https://goo.gl/AByIEf The webinar: [/url][url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=083NKIWiiZk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=083NKIWiiZkKey points: HCV Framework - 3:30Consultation Update - 4:25Online Topics (Workers Rights, Riparian zones, Scale, Intensity and Risk) - 6:42Principle 4 and non-Indigenous Customary Rights - 13:50


    Consultation on Draft 1

    Overall Consultation on the 10 Principles:

    The development of the second draft began in March 2015, following review of Draft 1 consultation feedback and publication of the third and finalIGIs draft in December 2014. The review also required analysis of changes between IGIs draft 1 and IGIs draft 2 to understand impacts on the drafting process. A summary of consultation feedback, including notes on the IGI version differences will is below.Stakeholder feedback to Draft 1-0 was received from almost 50 individuals and organisations, while SDG members also engaged their relevant chambers. Key issues were identified and informed the Drafting Rules used to produce subsequent drafts.

    An outline of the feedback and how it has been addressed is here: https://goo.gl/qcNxb6

    Indigenous Engagement on Draft 1:

    As part of engagement on the first draft of theFSCA-FSS FSC Australia partnered 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. AbCF was tasked with two objectives:

    • Stakeholder Engagement on draft 1 of the FSCA-FSS.
    • Assist with recruitment of the Indigenous Working Group (IWG) 

    The IWG was constituted in early 2015: https://au.fsc.org/newsroom.257.200.htm

    Upon forming the IWG reviewed the 1st draft of the FSCA-FSS and the stakeholder feedback collated by AbCF. A brief was provided to Australian SDG regarding the adaptation of Principle 3 (Indigenous Rights). In particular, work was done developing an approach to customary rights in the Australian context after stakeholder engagement noted the challenge where customary rights have not been recognised legally, such as in Native Title. The SDG reviewed the work and has incorporated it into elements of this draft. 


    A review of some of the issues covered can viewed and downloaded here: https://goo.gl/3GtCEy


    FSC’s policy framework for responsible forest management

    ForestOne of FSC’s key strengths as an international body for promoting and ensuring responsible management of the world’s forests is the policy framework that guides its work. FSC has developed its ‘Principles and Criteria’ for the defining responsible forest management. These are established with the support of FSC International’s multi-chamber membership and help to universalise FSC’s definition and vision for responsible forest management. 

    The Principles define the ‘goal’or ‘ideal’ that the standards seek to fulfill, while the criteria describe the various ‘states’ or ‘dynamics’ that are necessary to fulfill the intentions ofthe principle. 

    However, just how the principles and criteria are interpreted and followed on the ground should be further contextualised to ensure that they are appropriate to local conditions. It is important that the relevant social, environmental and economic issues are taken into consideration and we have standards that are clear, relevant and auditable. This is achieved through the development of ‘indicators’ at the national or regional level. Indicators help to interpret the criteria into measurable parameters. It is the indicators that auditors use to assess FSC certificate holders on the ground.


    Links for public consultation

    Closed - August 1st 2014

    To view or download draft one of the standard: http://bit.ly/1wdAINN

    Principle 1 – Legality   http://bit.ly/FSCAUP1 
    Principle 2 – Workers’ Right    http://bit.ly/FSCAP2
    Principle 3 – Indigenous Rights           http://bit.ly/FSCAP3 
    Principle 4 – Community Relations       http://bit.ly/FSCAP4 
    Principle 5 – Benefits of the Forest     http://bit.ly/FSCAP5 
    Principle 6 – Environmental Values     http://bit.ly/FSCAP6a &            http://bit.ly/FSCAP6b  
    Principle 7 – Management Planning     http://bit.ly/FSCAP7a 
    Principle 8 – Monitoring and Assessment       http://bit.ly/FSCAP8a 
    Principle 9 – High Conservation Values          http://bit.ly/FSCAP9a 
    Principle 10 – Implementation of ManagementActivities         http://bit.ly/FSCAP10  


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