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FSC ANZ revision of national forest stewardship standards

The FSC Australia Standards Development Group. From left to right: Mark Brown, Grant Wardell-Johnson, Stefan Jensen, Melanie Robertson, Sean Cadman, Tim McBride, Simon Cook, Tolita Dolzan, Lorraine Cassin and Carl Richardson.

The Forest Stewardship Council ANZ has begun a revision of the FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard of Australia following the approval granted by FSC International in January this year. Source: Timberbiz

“While the 2018 NFSS has performed well, it is now booked in for a scheduled service to ensure it can continue to support best-practice forest management across all types of forestry in Australia by incorporating contemporary scientific insights and the latest knowledge,” FSC ANZ CEO, Melanie Robertson said.

“There is a raft of changes introduced by FSC International that will be incorporated into the revised Standard regarding workers’ rights and pesticide use among other topics. Additionally, the revision aims to further bolster the rights of Indigenous Peoples through the introduction of the Indigenous Cultural Landscapes concept.

“The FSC ANZ Board has also determined that the revised Standard must better support responsible forest management in the face of a changing climate and what is expected to be more frequent and severe bushfires.”

FSC International has also approved the composition of the Standards Development Group appointed by the FSC ANZ Board to draft the revised Standard.

“This group of experts in their field, with equal representation from economic, environmental and social stakeholders, serves as the construction site for new and revised requirements,” Ms Robertson said.

“It is within this collaborative forum that revisions to the Standard are meticulously discussed and drafted.

“In a testament to the enduring strength of the FSC brand in Australia, we have assembled a Standards Development Group with an incredible breadth of knowledge and experience, representing most facets of forestry in the country. The revision could not be in better hands.”

The members of the Standards Development Group are:

Economic chamber

  • Carl Richardson, Australian Bluegum Plantations
  • Simon Cook, Forico
  • Tim McBride, HVP

Environmental chamber

  • Associate Professor Grant Wardell-Johnson, individual member
  • Patrick Gardner, The Wilderness Society
  • Sean Cadman, individual member

Social chamber

  • Lorraine Cassin, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (This position is now a vacancy and FSC ANZ will be taking EOIs shortly to fill the position)
  • Professor Mark Brown, Forestry Australia
  • Tolita Dolzan, Individual member
  • Facilitating the Standards Development Group and the revision process is FSC ANZ Policy and Standards Manager, Stefan Jensen.

The revision process, which has already begun, is expected to wrap up in mid-2025.

Before its completion, the revised Standard will go through two rounds of public consultation and forest testing.

The first round of public consultation is planned to occur in mid-2024 and will be announced through all available channels.

Read more about the revision here.