© FSC UK / G. HemeryWe have to be completely up front about this; this project may not result in a standard which can be used for FSC certification in the UK. We are deliberately exploring something very radical, and it may be that we stray too far from the norms of the FSC system. But we will definitely learn lessons along the way – lessons which will certainly be of relevance to FSC all around the world – about how far we can push risk-based approaches for smallholders. We may come up with other uses for the standard we develop, maybe as a self-assessment standard that helps to spread best practice among woodland owners. Or we may decide we have so much faith in the standard that ultimately we do submit it to FSC International for formal approval.
At the very least, a key output of the project will be a report, shared with FSC International, which sets out everything we have learned and our recommendations for changes to the FSC system.
And, perhaps most importantly, everyone involved in the project will be part of a dynamic discussion about how we can make the most of our small woodlands.