What We're Going to Do

Small Woods PAWs event 3 (© FSC UK)© FSC UKWe want to develop and test a standard tailored specifically to small woodlands in the UK,a standard which addresses genuine risks to environmental and social values but also focusses on key issues where FSC certification can deliver positive change above and beyond regulatory requirements. Our hope is that such a standard would achieve real, positive changes in forest management more efficiently. The resulting standard will hopefully be very much shorter than existing standards, and therefore less daunting for those who have to apply it, but also quicker and cheaper to audit.

All of this is based on the assumption that the management of smaller woodlands present slower risks to environmental and social values, and that we can adopt a proportionately less onerous approach to standard requirements and auditing to achieve the same outcomes.

We’re going to break away from the normal approach to FSC standard development, which is based on international Principles, Criteria, and generic indicators. Using the FSC Principles as a loose framework, we’re going to ask stakeholders to start from the bottom up by identifying what they see as the real issues and risks in small woodland management, then developing a small number of indicators to address those specific issues, wherever possible using easily assessed proxies for good management.

In parallel, we also want to think about changes to auditing requirements which could make certification more cost effective, and carry out a desk study of potential impacts.

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