Following a comprehensive development process, the Australian National Forest Stewardship Standard was approved in November 2018. Its publication marked an important milestone for responsible forest management in Australia, and while its development was lengthy and detailed, the result was an outstanding forest management standard.

In accordance with FSC International’s requirements for the maintenance of National Forest Stewardship Standards, FSC ANZ has reviewed the Standard to evaluate its performance.

The comprehensive review was based on:
• Input from standard users and the FSC ANZ membership;
• An analysis of changes introduced by FSC International; and
• An analysis of the external circumstances and the continued relevance of the Standard.

The review showed that while the Standard is largely performing well, a revision is required to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

The Scope of the Revision
With an overall goal of maintaining continuity and consistency in the Standard while incorporating the necessary changes identified in the review, the FSC ANZ Board of Directors has approved a targeted revision of the Standard. The targeted nature of the revision means that the necessary improvements identified by the Board in the review process constitute the scope of the revision.

These are:
• Changes to Associated Elements of the FSC System: There have been a number of developments in the FSC normative framework since the Standard was produced that must be incorporated into the Standard, most notably changes in FSC-STD-60-004 V2-0 EN International Generic Indicators; and the revision of FSC-POL-30-001 V3-0 EN FSC Pesticides Policy. Future changes introduced during the revision process by FSC International are also included in the scope.

• Standard Users’ and FSC ANZ Members’ Feedback: Standard users and the FSC ANZ membership have identified a range of revisions required to ensure the continued relevance of the standard, including addressing issues related to Principle 2, Workers’ Rights, and the inclusion of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in the scope of the standard.

• Changes in the External Circumstances and the Continued Relevance of the Standard: To ensure the Standard remains relevant and continues to promote best-practice responsible forest management in the face of changing external circumstances, the FSC ANZ Board has determined that the revision must include an evaluation of how climate change and bushfire adaptation and mitigation strategies as well as post-catastrophic disturbance options can be supported by the existing framework of the Standard.

Subject to approval by the FSC ANZ Board, additional Indicators or topics can be added to the scope during the revision process.

The Revision Process
In accordance with FSC International’s procedures, a chamber-balanced Standards Development Group consisting of FSC ANZ members will be established to support the revision of the Standard.

Keep an eye out for the call for expressions of interest for membership of the Standards Development Group which will be published soon.

The revised standard must be recommended to FSC International’s Board of Directors by November 2024.

Please contact Policy and Standards Manager Stefan Jensen with any questions:

Phone: 0407 606 633