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

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

Appendix 2: Guidelines for the interpretation of requirements for Trees outside Forests (TOF)

A) Introduction

This Appendix provides interpretation for developing regional, national and sub-national requirements and standards applicable for Trees outside Forests (TOF). As stated in PEFC ST 1003:201x, all requirements referring to ‘forest’ are also applicable to ‘TOF’ unless otherwise indicated in this Appendix. 

There exists a rich global diversity of Trees outside Forests systems. Some are natural or semi-natural ecosystems with ecological complexity and ecosystem services equivalent to natural forests. At the other end of the spectrum are individual trees in fields or linear tree formations.

In cases where the PEFC ST 1003:201x requirements deserve specific interpretation to improve or establish relevancy for TOF, interpretations are provided in Section B. 

Specific PEFC ST 1003:201x requirements which may not be applicable to certain TOF systems are outlined in Section D. To identify such exceptions, PEFC defines four categories to objectively distinguish between different TOF systems. The categories are based on land classification and management intensity: TOF-agriculture (intensive and extensive) and TOF-settlement (intensive and extensive). It is within TOF-agriculture extensive and TOF – settlement extensive that select PEFC ST 1003:201x requirements may not be applicable.

During the national standard setting process, the typical TOF systems of national relevance will be identified and the appropriate threshold between intensive and extensive discussed and agreed.  Criteria to support this discussion are proposed in Section E.  With this threshold articulated, it should be clear to which category particular TOF systems belong and if any flexibility exists when applying the PEFC ST 1003:201x requirements into regional, national and sub-national standard(s).

B) Interpretation of Requirements for Trees outside Forests

4.3.2  The standard requires that at a scale appropriate to the level of operations, TOF management shall comprise the cycle of inventory and planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and shall include an appropriate assessment of the social, environmental and economic impacts of TOF management. This shall form a basis for a cycle of continuous improvement.

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

6.3.1.1  The standard requires that the organisation shall comply with applicable local, national or international legislation applicable to TOF area including but not limited to: agriculture and agroforestry; nature and environmental protection; protected and endangered species; property, tenure and land-use rights for indigenous peoples, local communities or other stakeholders; health, labor and safety issues; crop damage compensation;  anti-corruption and the payment of royalties and taxes.

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

NOTE Only where TOF is within the scope of a country’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the European Union and the producing country, is the “legislation applicable to TOF area” defined by the VPA agreement.

7.2.1  The standard requires that land managers, contractors, employees and land owners shall be provided with sufficient information and encouraged to keep up-to-date through continuous training in relation to agroforestry, good agriculture practices and forestry techniques as a precondition for all management planning and practices described in this standard.

8.1.1  The standard requires that management shall aim to maintain or increase the cover, value and/or diversity of trees in the landscape and their related ecosystem services in ways that enhance the economic, ecological, cultural and social values and are aligned with existing land-use regimes. 

Note: When the requirement is not achievable within individual, TOF-extensive areas, it can be considered at landscape level or through group certification.

8.1.2  The standard requires that management shall maintain or enhance TOF resources and their capacity to store and sequester carbon in the medium and long term by balancing harvesting and growth rates, and by minimising direct or indirect damage to ecosystem resources.

Note: When the requirement is not achievable within individual, TOF-extensive areas, it can be considered at landscape level or through group certification.

8.1.4     The standard requires that conversion of  forests to other types of land use, including and conversion of ecologically important forest areas  to TOF, shall not occur unless in justified circumstances where the conversion:

….

TOF areas established by a forest conversion after 31 December 2010 in other than “justified circumstances” do not meet the requirement and are not eligible for certification.

8.1.5     The standard requires that conversion of ecologically important non-forest ecosystems to TOF areas shall not occur unless in justified circumstances where:

8.1.6: Not applicable.

8.2.1  The standard requires that health and vitality of ToF areas shall be maintained or enhanced and degraded lands shall be rehabilitated whenever this is feasible, by making best use of landscape features, natural processes and using preventive biological measures

8.2.2  The standard requires that adequate genetic, species and structural diversity shall be encouraged or maintained to enhance the stability, vitality and resistance capacity of the TOF area.

8.2.4  The standard requires that appropriate TOF management practices shall use tree, crop and animal species and provenances that are suited to the site conditions and the use of tending, harvesting and transport techniques that minimise tree and/or soil damage shall be applied

8.3.1  The standard requires that the capability of the TOF area to provide wood products, non-wood forest products and/or services from trees on a sustainable basis shall be maintained.

8.4.1     The standard requires that management planning shall aim to maintain, conserve or enhance biodiversity on landscape, ecosystem, species and genetic levels.

Note: When the requirement is not achievable within individual, TOF-extensive areas, it can be considered at landscape level or through group certification.

8.4.12  The standard requires that, with due regard to management objectives, measures shall be taken to balance the effect of domesticated and wild animals on the regeneration and growth of trees, as well as on biodiversity [and the control of fire].

8.5.1  The standard requires that the protective functions of trees within the agriculture and settlement landscape shall be maintained or enhanced.

8.6.5  The standard requires that traditional knowledge and recognized best practice for agroforestry & TOF management be utilized. Equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices shall be encouraged.

C) Additional requirement for Trees outside Forests

The standard requires that management of the agricultural components within a ToF system should follow good agricultural practice and available guidelines.

D) Requirements potentially not applicable to Trees outside Forests

The following requirements are considered potentially not applicable to TOF-agriculture extensive and TOF – settlement extensive unless considered otherwise during the regional, national standards setting process.

6.2.2; 6.2.6; 6.2.7; 7.1; 7,2,1; 7.3.1; 7.3.2; 7.4.1; 7.4.2; 8.3.5; 8.4.8; 8.5.5; 9.1.1; 9.1.3 are not applicable to:

TOF-agriculture extensive

TOF – settlement extensive. 

Rationale: TOF management is of a sufficiently low intensity, scale and/or investment level that requirements cannot be realistically incorporated

8.2.1;; 8.4.2; 8.6.2; 8.6.6 are not applicable to:

TOF-agriculture extensive

TOF – settlement extensive.  

Rationale: The requirement(s) are related to an issue which is not a risk or issue within a TOF extensive context.  

8.2.2; 8.3.2; 8.4.11; 8.4.12 are not applicable to:

TOF – settlement extensive.  

Rationale: The requirements do not relate well to context where trees are planted and managed primarily for aesthetics and environmental health.  

E. Establishing the threshold for intensive and extensive TOF systems at the National level

If the national standard-setting process agrees to develop specific requirements and/or standard(s) for TOF, all PEFC ST 1003:201x requirements are applicable with the potential exception of some requirements in the case of TOF-agriculture extensive and/or TOF – settlement extensive system.  In this case, the standard-setting process must build agreement around the appropriate threshold between “intensive” or “extensive” TOF systems, based on clear rationale. The eligibility of a particular TOF system must be clearly communicated within Standard(s).

When establishing the threshold between the intensive and extensive categorisation of TOF systems the national standard-setting process should consider at least:

a) size of management unit

b) tree cover/hectare

c) economic value of production

d) intensity of management

e) scale of cultural, ecological and conservation value

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