To help small and community forests attain FSC certification, FSC has been working to modify requirements that take into account the size, intensity and capacity of operations in these forests to ensure the new standard can be equally applicable to small-scale, low intensity and community forests.
In May 2020, FSC Canada released a draft streamlined version of the standard for a second public consultation. The draft requirements follow the basic forest management certification requirements but have important procedural differences that consider the size and intensity of these smaller-scale forest operations or the capacity to manage them. For example, the new smallholder requirements will include:
- Overall reduced number of indicators
- Reduced process requirements and broader eligibility criteria for conservation areas networks
- A modified approach to obtain Free, Prior and Informed Consent for smallholders
- Simpler administration processes
- Fewer external reviews required
FSC Canada also tested drafts of the standard to gain a better understanding of all possible implications of the proposed requirements – and released a summary of the results in November 2020.
In January 2021, FSC Canada entered the final stage of the standard development process and submitted the standard to FSC International for approval. Over the next few months, FSC Canada will work with FSC International to answer any questions, provide clarifications, and possibly make modifications. We anticipate an approved standard in late 2021 or early 2022.
Learn more about the process here.