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


  • 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.


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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