To support the consultation, FSC ANZ organised a webinar for all interested parties on 2 February. The webinar was well attended, with 27 participants representing certificate holders, suppliers of controlled material, auditors, and social and environmental chamber stakeholders. The proposed changes were also presented to the Australian Forest Products Association’s (AFPA) certification subcommittee and FSC ANZ’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG).  

During the consultation, 16 responses were received. By chamber, 13 Economic Chamber, two Environmental Chamber, and one Social Chamber responses were received.  

The greatest number of comments concerned:  

  • The proposed change to the risk designation for Controlled Wood category 3.1 (HCV 1) in the NRA for hardwood plantations and the associated mandatory control measures in the NRA and the Framework for endangered and critically endangered species, and 

  • The proposed change to the risk designation for Controlled Wood category 3.3 (HCV 3) in the NRA regarding remnant vegetation and the associated definition of and mandatory control measure for remnant vegetation in the Framework.  

Another topic with higher numbers of responses related to scope creep. Specifically, that certain proposed changes are outside the scope of the revision (see here). In response, the FSC ANZ Board has emphasised to the Advisory Working Group (AWG) tasked with drafting the revised NRA that it, in accordance with its Terms of Reference, will need to obtain the Board’s approval to make changes that are not in scope.  

The NRA AWG has begun to evaluate the comments received and will use these considerations as it develops Draft 2. This second draft will be submitted to the FSC ANZ Board for endorsement before being submitted to FSC International for the final approval process. 

As a voluntary certification system, FSC relies on input from stakeholders to ensure our standards are practical and impactful for organisations that choose to seek certification. Engagement from diverse stakeholders is key to FSC’s credibility, and, therefore, the participation of the 16 respondents in the public consultation and the high-quality input provided by the respondents and the Indigenous Working Group was greatly appreciated.