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FSC strengthens position on conversion

FSC strengthens position on conversion and encourages remedy for harm with new documents

At the 9th FSC General Assembly in October 2022, Motion 37/2021 that required changes to the FSC Principles and Criteria to implement the Policy to Address Conversion has passed (see a history of the process). The Principles and Criteria and International Generic Indicators have been updated to reflect these changes and have been published together with the Policy to Address Conversion and the FSC Remedy Framework

With these updates to the IGI, FSC is also strengthening the applicability of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and including new IGI for highly hazardous pesticides. The Policy to Address Conversion incorporates a new cut-off date (31 December 2020), and the possibility to certify lands converted between 1 December 1994 and 31 December 2020 if remediation of harms caused by conversion is provided. The Policy also strengthens FSC’s fundamental principles on conversion of natural forests and High Conservation Value areas while providing avenues to remedy and compensate for social and environmental harms caused by past conversion.

In addition, Advice Note on requirements for FSC Forest Management Certificate Holders is introduced by the Policy to Address Conversion and M37/2021. From the effective date of this Advice Note and until a revised Forest Stewardship Standard (FSS) incorporating the changes resulting from M37/2021 becomes effective in a country and the transition period towards that Forest Stewardship Standard is completed:

  1. The revised Criteria 6.9 and 6.10, and the new Criterion 6.11 in <FSC-STD-01-001 V5-3 FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship> supersede the corresponding criteria laid out in the existing FSS.
  2. The Organization shall conform with the International Generic Indicators under Criteria 6.9 and 6.10, and the new Criterion 6.11 in <FSC-STD-60-004 V2-1 International Generic Indicators>.
  3. Clause 2 shall prevail over conflicting, inconsistent, or otherwise incompatible requirements in existing FSS.