Launch Global Forest Risk Registry

We are continuously seeking your input to improve the system and provide us with additional information.

Please send your input by email to NEPCon-s coordinator of the Global Forest Registry project: Roman Polyachenko at rp-at-nepcon.net

We have evaluated several of the FSC controlled wood risk parameters based on reliable globally available sources. In many cases, however, more detailed national information should be additionally considered. A few indicators are rather challenging to evaluate correctly, based on publicly available global sources. While we are interested in receiving any information that might improve the quality of the FSC Global Forest Registry, we are particularly grateful for additional national information on parameters where international sources do not provide sufficient information. Below, we have described areas in particular need of additional information.

Risk Category 1: Illegal logging

MAIN GAPS: Sources and evidence for indicators 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 in countries with a CPI above 5

Illegal loggingThe Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International provides a good picture of the corruption level in each country and is easily available for all countries. According to FSC (FSC-DIR-40-005), countries classified below 5 in the Corruption Perceptions Index cannot be classified as low risk. For these countries we have currently not evaluated other risk parameters.

In countries with a CPI above 5, all other indicators also need to be met in order for the country to be classified as a low risk area. In several countries it has been difficult or impossible to find good sources for indicators 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. In countries where illegal logging is not considered a problem, few organizations are looking into these issues, and evidence may be insufficient.

Category 2: Social issues

MAIN GAPS: Sources and evidence concerning social conflicts in relation to human rights, traditional rights, and tribal and indigenous people (indicaors 2.4 and 2.5).

Social issuesWhile reliable international sources exist for the first 3 indicators under this category, we had difficulties in finding good sources for indicators 2.4 and 2.5. We are therefore eager to receive additional information and comments related to significant social conflicts in relation to human or traditional rights or in relation to tribal and indigenous people.

In the present version of the Global Forest Registry, OECD countries and EU countries have been classified as low risk for 2.4 and 2.5 due their generally efficient law enforcement and the lack of major social conflicts related to forests.

Category 3: High Conservation Values

MAIN GAPS: 1) Sources and evidence related to endangered, non-mapped high conservation value forests of global significance 2) Sources and evidence related to existing protection systems

High conservation valuesMapping of globally important High Conservation Value Forest has been done by WWF (Global 2000 Ecoregions), Greenpeace et al (Intact Forest mapping) and Conservation International (Biodiversity Hotspots). According to FSC recommendations, we have based the risk assessment on the mapping initiatives of these globally important High Conservation areas. Where none of these areas are present within the country, the entire country is considered as low risk.

Since the FSC Controlled Wood system is focusing on globally significant, high conservation value forest areas, not all High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) need to be considered in the risk assessment. The Controlled Wood system is limited to avoiding wood sourced from areas where high conservation values are threatened at eco-regional level (following the WWF definition of ecoregions). Information about endangered forests with high conservation values of global significance is very much appreciated.

Also, please note that sourcing of wood from districts located outside of mapped HCVF areas can be considered as low risk, even if the country is partly covered by eco-regions including endangered, globally important High Conservation Value Forest. Sourcing of wood from industrial plantations may also in many cases be considered as low risk for high conservation value forest, no matter if they are located inside or outside eco-regions with endangered globally important High Conservation Value Forest. However, in some cases planations might have developed globally important high conservation values. We are looking for information on such cases from stakeholders.

For most countries, we currently lack information about the protection system in place (indicator 3.2). Please let us know if you have any sources of information regarding this issue.

Category 4: Forest conversion

MAIN GAPS: Country-specific information about conversion of natural forest into plantations.

Forest conversionWe have based risk assessments in this category on the latest FAO report “State of the world’s forests 2007″. This assessment only coves total loss of forest and forest plantations to other land uses. It does not include conversion of natural forest to plantations, which is one of the risk indicators included by FSC. We therefore appreciate any country-specific information on covering this topic. A few countries currently classified as low risk based on a total rate of deforestation below the FSC threshold may need to be classified as unspecified risk in case there is widespread conversion of natural forest ecosystems to plantations.

Category 5: Genetically modified organisms

MAIN GAPS: Country-specific information about the establishment of GMO plantations.

Genetically modified organismsAccording to FAO report from 2004, only China has commercial plantations of GMOs. All other countries are therefore classified as low risk. However, it is an area with fast development, and additional countries will be added when we get information on establishment of GMO plantations. However, we don’t expect that any GMO stands established after publication of the FAO report have reached rotation age yet. Therefore it can be considered that the risk of sourcing commercial wood from GMO stands from outside China is still very low. In any case, any country-specific information on the establishment of GMO plantations is greatly appreciated. Please note that laboratory tests and field trials on sample plots are not directly relevant for this category.