Public consultation on PEFC ST 1003:201X, Enquiry Draft, Sustainable Forest Management – Requirements

PEFC ST 1003:201X, Enquiry Draft, Sustainable Forest Management – Requirements

6. Planning

6.1       Actions to address risks and opportunities

6.1.1     The standard requires that the organisations shall consider risks and opportunities concerning compliance with the requirements for sustainable forest management. Size and scale of the operations of the organisation shall be considered.

6.1.2     The standard requires that inventory and mapping of forest resources shall be established and maintained, adequate to local and national conditions and in correspondence with the requirements described in this international benchmark standard.

6.2       Management plan

6.2.1     The standard requires that management plans shall be

a) elaborated and periodically updated or continually adjusted;

b) appropriate to the size and use of the forest area;

c) based on applicable local, national and international legislation as well as existing land-use or other official plans; and

d) adequately covering forest resources.

6.2.2     The standard requires that management plans shall take into account the different uses or functions of the managed forest area.

6.2.3     The standard requires that management plans shall include at least a description of the current forest management unit, long-term objectives; and the average annual allowable cut, including its justification.

6.2.4      The standard requires that the annually allowable use of non-wood forest products shall be included in the management plan where forest management covers commercial use of non-wood forest products at a level which can have an impact on their long-term sustainability.

6.2.5     The standard requires that management plans specify ways and means to minimise the risk of degradation of and damages to forest ecosystems.

6.2.6     The standard requires that management plans shall take into account the results of scientific research.

6.2.7     The standard requires that a summary of the management plan appropriate to the scope and scale of forest management shall be publicly available and shall include information on the general objectives and forest management principles.

6.2.8     The standard requires that the publicly available summary of the management plan may exclude confidential business and personal information and other information made confidential by applicable legislation or for the protection of cultural sites or sensitive natural resource features.

6.3 Compliance requirements

6.3.1 Legal compliance

6.3.1.1  The standard requires that the organisation shall comply with applicable local, national and international legislation on forest management, including but not limited to forest management practices; nature and environmental protection; protected and endangered species; property, tenure and land-use rights for indigenous peoples, local communities or other affected stakeholders; health, labour and safety issues; anti-corruption and the payment of applicable royalties and taxes.

6.3.1.2    The standard requires that the organisation shall identify and have access to the legislation applicable to its forest management and determine how these compliance obligations apply to the organisation.

NOTE     For a country which has signed a FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the European Union and the producing country, the “legislation applicable to forest management” is defined by the VPA agreement.

6.3.1.3  The standard requires that where no anti-corruption legislation exists, the organisation must take alternative anti-corruption measures appropriate to the risk of corruption.

6.3.1.4  The standard requires that measures shall be implemented to address protection of the forest from unauthorised activities such as illegal logging, illegal land use, illegally initiated fires, and other illegal activities.

6.3.2 Legal, customary and traditional rights related to the forest land

6.3.2.1  The standard requires that property rights, tree ownership and land tenure arrangements shall be clearly defined, documented and established for the relevant  management unit. Likewise, legal, customary and traditional rights related to the forest land shall be clarified, recognised and respected.

NOTE     Guidance for the handling of tenure arrangements can be obtained from the  FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security.

6.3.2.2  The standard requires that forest practices and operations shall be conducted in recognition of the established framework of legal, customary and traditional rights such as outlined in ILO 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which shall not be infringed upon without the free, prior and informed consent of the holders of the rights, including the provision of compensation where applicable. Where the extent of rights is not yet resolved or is in dispute there are processes for just and fair resolution.  In such cases forest managers shall, in the interim, provide meaningful opportunities for parties to be engaged in forest management decisions whilst respecting the processes and roles and responsibilities laid out in the policies and laws where the certification takes place.

6.3.2.3  The standard requires that forest practices and operations shall respect human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

6.3.3 Fundamental ILO conventions

6.3.3.1  The standard requires that forest practices and operations shall comply with fundamental ILO conventions.

NOTE     In countries where the fundamental ILO conventions have been ratified, the requirements of 6.3.3.1 apply. In countries where a fundamental convention has not been ratified and its content is not covered by applicable legislation, specific requirements shall be included in the forest management standard.

6.3.4 Health, safety and working conditions

6.3.4.1  The standard requires that forest operations shall be planned, organised and performed in a manner that enables health and accident risks to be identified and all reasonable measures to be applied to protect workers from work-related risks. Workers shall be informed about the risks involved with their work and about preventive measures.

6.3.4.2  The standard requires that working conditions shall be safe, and guidance and training in safe working practices shall be provided to all those assigned to a task in forest operations..

NOTE     Guidance for specifying national standards can be obtained from the ILO Code of Good Practice: Safety and Health in Forestry Work.

6.3.4.3  The standard requires that both local and migrant forest workers’ wages shall meet at least legal, industry minimum standards or to exceed it (where applicable) through collective bargaining agreements.

NOTE     Where wages are below the living wage of a country, steps should be taken to attain increased wages towards a living wage level over time in addition to increases for inflation.

6.3.4.4  The standard requires that an employment policy includes equal opportunities and non-discrimination. Gender equality shall be promoted.