Only a few days remain until the 1 July 2014 deadline for stakeholders worldwide to contribute to the global public consultation of PEFC ST 1003:2010, Appendix 2, Guidelines for interpretation for some natural forests, including tropical forests.
The Appendix is based on the recognition that while the overarching principles for sustainable forest management are similar across all types of forests, the complexity of some natural forests, including tropical natural forests, combined with their environmental and socio-economic importance at local, national and international levels, has brought them to the attention of the general public and stakeholder groups around the world and suggests the need for additional interpretation of requirements.
In considering such interpretation, however, it is important to note the particular issues and challenges. These are not necessarily restricted only to tropical forests, being shared by some non-tropical forest types, and indeed are not necessarily relevant for all tropical forests. These are principally:
- Poor or underdeveloped governance processes, acknowledging that governance is an issue that dominates the sustainable management of all types of forest in all countries at all stages of economic development.
- Forests are often home to, or provide significant economic dependencies for local communities, including indigenous peoples,and whose needs and rights need particular consideration in national certification schemes.
- Deforestation and the conversion of forest to other forms of land use outside any formal land use planning process.
- Rich biological diversity, particularly, but not only, in tropical forests, calls for adapted silvicultural/management measures different from those in many other temperate or boreal forest types.
- Despite these inherent complexities and values, many regions have limited resources allocated to administration, training and research related to forest management.
This Appendix seeks to provide further guidance of specific relevance in tropical natural forests, or any other forest regions where the above characteristics apply, which may not be explicitly reflected in PEFC ST 1003:2010. It is the responsibility of the national standard setting process to define the relevance of this guidance to national circumstances.
PEFC values stakeholder input and invites all interested parties to provide feedback and comments, using PEFC’s Online Consultation Tool, by 1 July 2014.
This draft appendix to PEFC ST 1003:2010 provides guidance for the PEFC assessment of forest management standards which are used for the certification of natural forests, including but not limited to tropical forests, where particular issues and challenges are evident. This document is now subject to public consultation until 1st July 2014. All comments are welcome and will be considered in the further development of the document.