Tuesday, 01 September 2020
FSC UK Input to UKWAS Review
In July we told you about the start of the formal process to review UKWAS 4, the user-friendly version of our national forest stewardship standard, and to decide whether it needs to be revised. The deadline for stakeholder input was 31 August, and we hope that many of you have taken the opportunity to share your views on the standard.
As part of the review process, FSC UK is required to contribute to a standard users’ feedback review, a risk review, and a certification scheme requirements review. You can download the documents submitted by FSC UK below.
“Our input is quite lengthy, taking into account all of the relevant developments in the FSC system since UKWAS 4 was developed,” says FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. “If I had to summarise the key points, though, I’d say that we are asking the UKWAS Working Group to consider how effectively the current standard deals with scale, intensity and risk, High Conservation Values, workers’ rights, gender equality, soil protection, and maintaining basic ecosystem services. We have also asked the group to consider how to integrate new requirements of the FSC Pesticides Policy, and whether the scope of the standard should be expanded or clarified with regard to non-timber forest products, coppice systems and agroforestry.”
“We also believe,” adds Owen, “that UKWAS should take the opportunity to challenge foresters and explore all the latest thinking in responsible forest management; if ever there is a time to aim high in our aspirations for our forests, it is now.”
FSC UK’s input to the risk review includes the latest draft of a Low Intensity Management Standard developed as part of our Small Woods project; you can read more about this standard here.
Keep watching the FSC UK and UKWAS website for updates on the review process. If the decision is made to carry out a revision, there will be plenty more opportunities for you to influence the development of the standard.
If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to get in touch with Owen at owen at fsc-uk point org.