Therefore, to ensure the controlled wood system continues to be properly implemented in Australia, the Board has, in accordance with applicable requirements set by FSC International, determined that an urgent revision of the National Risk Assessment (NRA) is required.
FSC-PRO-60-002 V3-0 EN The Development and Approval of FSC® National Risk Assessments sets out the process for revisions of NRAs and stipulates that they shall be conducted in accordance with the comprehensive requirements for NRA development processes (10.3). However, when there is clear and undisputable evidence requiring a change of risk determination and/or change of mandatory risk mitigation means, the responsible body (i.e., the FSC ANZ Board) shall amend the NRA accordingly as a matter of urgency (10.4). As such, urgent revision processes are not subject to the requirements for NRA development processes, including establishing an NRA working group and public consultation.
The Procedure notes that examples of clear and undisputable evidence may include, but are not limited to, changes in legislation or results of complaints handled at the international level (10.4). In the case of the Australian NRA, both developments have occurred.
The decision by the Commonwealth to classify koala populations in QLD, NSW, and the ACT as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) 1999 constitutes a case of legislation that requires an amendment of the NRA. The revision will also include an evaluation of the need to introduce new requirements into the NRA in light of the recent up listing of the greater glider as endangered under the EPBC Act. Additionally, a recent complaint handled at the international level by ASI identified areas in the NRA that should be improved to ensure that the FSC-controlled wood system in Australia is properly implemented.
While not a normative requirement for urgent revisions, to ensure the quality of and support for the revised NRA, FSC ANZ is establishing a chamber-balanced Advisory Working Group (AWG) to assist in the development of a revised NRA to recommend to the Board. The composition of AWG is currently in its final stages. Additionally, the first draft of the revised NRA will be subject to consultation to identify potential improvements.
The first meeting in the AWG will be on 10 August, while consultation is intended for October. A final draft is expected to be recommended to the FSC ANZ Board in December. After this, the final draft will be submitted to FSC International for approval. The revised NRA is expected to be published in the first half of 2023.