Forest Stewardship Council Launches New Standard in Russia

Forest Stewardship Council Launches New Standard in Russia

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has published a new national forest management standard in Russia | #Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has published a new national forest management standard in Russia |, based principles of economic, environmental, and social criteria. The new standard will enter into force on March 2021, in keeping with the work of certified companies.
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Strengths of the New Standard
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The new standard has drawn acclaim from the WWF, which will also help to set new milestones for environmental and social responsibility for forestry | Learn more on Commonshare | companies as they operate in the Russian Federation.
The new standard is significant in that it will make it possible to protect intact forests and conserve forest biodiversity more efficiently, and this will in turn improve management.
One of the strengths of the new standard is the fact that includes independent audits of certified companies, which will in turn help to make the certification process open and transparent for concessions and for other stakeholders who are involved. These stakeholders include environmental organizations and eco-activists, local communities, and forestry authorities.
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WWF-Russia’s Role
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As WWF-Russia’s Forest Program Director Andrey Shchegolev explained, “WWF-Russia has been actively participating in the development of the new national FSC forest management standard.”
Many of WWF-Russia’s proposals for improved sustainability requirements of forest management | Learn more on Commonshare | “have been taken into account,” Schchegolev explains.
For consumers, the presence of the FSC logo means that the wood product comes from environmentally and socially responsible forestry | Learn more on Commonshare |. The new national standard is mandatory for all FSC-certified forest licenses | Learn more on Commonshare |, the number of which is growing every year in Russia.
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Russia Takes the Lead
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This year, Russia became the country with the largest amount of FSC-certified forest areas, over 54 million hectares, overtaking the long-standing leader Canada.
WWF-Russia continues to be actively involved in improving FSC certification in the country. The WWF participates in the Technical Committee for the development of the national FSC standard and the FSC Russia Coordination Council. The WWF also conducts filed trips to audit the quality of the biodiversity conservation by certified companies and publishes their results.
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Improvements and Controversies
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The new standard includes many improvements, such as a new approach to Integrated Forest Landscapes (IFLs) that establish percentage indicators to fully conserve IFL areas. There is also a new approach for determining the level of sustainable harvest.
That said, there are controversial elements as well. "Some concepts and approaches that have been included in the new national FSC forest management standard may initially create difficulties for certified companies in Russia, since most of these inclusions refer to new international FSC certification requirements that are globally applied,” Schchegolev says.
The new concepts and approaches have not yet been tested in Russia, so it is too early to see how effective they will be on the ground. After they have been put into practice, it will become possible to ascertain which ones work and which require “further development and adaptation.”  
Lexicon:
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has published a new national forest management standard in Russia | https://wwf.panda.org/wwf_news/?888716/WWF-welcomes-new-Forest-Stewardship-Council-FSC-forest-management-standard-in-Russia |: Source from WWF panda website

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