Southern Africa Updates


Tuesday, 07 November 2017
Local Learnings and Global Transformation

Dr David Everard

The FSC priority project: ‘Streamline the Normative Framework’ was initiated in early 2017 to develop and test tools that incorporate principles of risk management into the development and revision processes of normative documents


The goal of the project is to identify opportunities to make the normative framework more stable, responsive, simple, predictable, cost-effective, and outcome-oriented, thus providing confidence for applying a normative framework that is best contributing to FSC objectives and values.
In April 2017, the project working group sent out a call to Standard Development Groups (SDG) worldwide to submit proposals on innovative ways to implement a risk-based approach to National Forest Stewardship Standard development, implementation, and/or auditing.

South Africa responded to this call with the submission and implementation of a case study focussing on the utilisation of a Risk Assessment in the selection and development of Indictors in the National Standard.

The case study investigated the possibility to amend the Risk Assessment for further application by Certificate holders and Certification bodies to streamline the auditing process to allow for focus to be placed on high and medium rated risks within the scope of certification for each certificate holder.

The results of the case study was presented at the FSC General Assembly by one of the SDG members from South Africa, Dr David Everard. Other case studies selected for presentation included the below:

• Russia: Credibility project: definition, auditing and monitoring of critical and key criteria
• UK: For a better use of law content and level of enforcement in NFSS
• US: Streamlined assessment tool in the Appalachian context

The priority project working group complied the results from 13 case studies which tested and analyzed different approaches that seek to address the most relevant problems and barriers to forest management certification. The results gathered were found to be complementary with the following areas identified as to where risk management plays an essential role:

• Assessment of Risk
• Development of Requirements
• Auditing process
• Monitoring Effectiveness and Risk

A complete and comprehensive proposal for a risk-based approach to the NFSS and to the overall Normative Framework is planned to be presented to the FSC Board of Directors in December 2017.

A copy of the detailed reports on the above case studies may be found at the GA website


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