New guidance on the revised Pesticides Policy has been provided by FSC International in the form of frequently asked questions, which you can now download from the resources section of our Pesticides Policy webpage.
At the national level, FSC UK is continuing to work with the UKWAS Steering Group to produce environmental and social risk assessments (ESRAs) for key pesticides to help certificate holders meet the Policy requirements. ESRAs are nearing completion for acetamiprid, glyphosate and propyzamide, and work is underway on risk assessments for asulam and urea. Over the coming months we intend to produce further risk assessments, but we hope that they key chemicals in common use will be captured by this first tranche of ESRAs.
While the detail of the ESRAs will be important for forest managers to understand the rationale and applicability, in practical terms the most important element will be a series of key controls to apply at the management unit or operational level. These will be presented at the beginning of each ESRA, and will include existing UKWAS requirements. Some of the UKWAS Steering Group members working on the ESRAs with us will share examples of how they see these controls being communicated to operators.
As soon as these national level ESRA documents are finalised they will be made available via the FSC UK website. Please do remember that these are for guidance only and there is no requirement to use them, but we hope that certificate holders will find it useful to incorporate the findings into their existing procedures.
Meanwhile, at the international level, work is ongoing to produce a set of International Generic Indicators (IGIs) to govern the use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides. Once these are complete, they will be adapted for specific chemicals at the national level, and at that point will impose mandatory controls on their use. FSC UK’s Forest Standards Managers, Dr Owen Davies, is a member of the technical working group tasked with developing the IGIs. The group has held fortnightly online meetings since September and has its first face-to-face meeting in Bonn in the first week of December, when the aim will be to produce a first draft ready for public consultation in the new year. We would encourage all interested and affected stakeholders to respond to the consultation, but you should also feel free to contact Owen (email@example.com) at any time if you have any questions.