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FSC publish new forest management standard

7 February 2023

FSC ANZ has announced the launch of a new standard for responsible forest management in New Zealand. After a comprehensive process of rigorous consultation with industry, environment, and social stakeholders and Indigenous groups, the FSC Forest Stewardship Standard for New Zealand (NZ FSS) targets the most pressing issues in New Zealand forestry today. This includes living wage requirements, better protection of waterways, addressing issues related to erosion, and establishing culturally appropriate means of communication with Māori communities affected by forestry operations.

FSC would like to thank the members of the chamber-balanced Standards Development Group tasked with developing the Standard for their years of commitment and hard work in this process.

One of these SDG members, Sally Strang, Environmental Manager of Hancock Natural Resource Group, states, “Over the past two decades, FSC certification has been the catalyst for vast improvements in the standard of forest management in New Zealand, particularly relating to the management of environmental values in our forests and engagement with stakeholders. This has been positive for the industry to ensure we are well-placed to meet future challenges.” She is optimistic that the standard will lift forestry in New Zealand to a new level noting that “The NZ FSS will continue to raise the bar and ensure our forest management meets international expectations of responsible forest management.”

Implementation

January 17th is the publication date of the NZ FSS. From this date, FSC-certified forest managers in New Zealand will be able to study the Standard. 3 months later, on April 15th, the Standard will come into effect. Once it comes into effect, forest managers will have 12 months to implement the NZ FSS. Within this 12-month phase-in period, the FSC forest managers can choose to be audited against the old interim standard or the NZ FSS. After 12 months, all FSC certificate holders in New Zealand must be evaluated against the NZ FSS. By October 15th, 2024, 18 months after the effective start date, all certificates under the old interim standard will be invalid.

Introducing the new standard:

To support the implementation of the NZ FSS, FSC ANZ will be hosting a number of events across New Zealand. These events will focus on presenting the key changes introduced in the new Standard and the transition arrangements. New Zealand stakeholders will be contacted directly with further details on the events in early February.

Visit the FSC ANZ website here to view the NZ FSS and find out additional information about its publication.

Source: FSC ANZ

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