Use of the Global Forest Registry in the FSC Controlled Wood system

March 5, 2015

The Global Forest Registry has been updated to align with revised Controlled Wood requirements for risk assessments, however the revised Controlled Wood standards have not yet been finalized and approved. This article intends to explain how the Global Forest Registry and the assessments it contains shall be used for sourcing Controlled Wood, now, and later, during the transition to the revised Controlled Wood Chain of Custody (CW-CoC) standard (FSC-STD-40-005) once it is in force.

The updated Global Forest Registry contains risk assessments that were developed and approved according to previous risk assessment requirements, and risk assessments made following the current requirements of the revised Controlled Wood system. The source of information, including requirements that were followed by a risk assessment, is always indicated in the information associated with a particular country.

FSC-STD-40-005 V2-1 (current version)

Using the current CW-CoC standard, only risk designations from National Risk Assessments approved according to previous risk assessment procedures (FSC-PRO-60-002 V2-0) may be used. The risk designations within these are either ‘low risk’ or ‘unspecified risk’. Supplies from ‘low risk’ areas may be sourced, while those in ‘unspecified risk’ areas require field verification to ensure the risk of sourcing unacceptable material is low. Areas that are not covered by an FSC-approved risk assessment require either the company to conduct its own risk assessment, or field verification.

FSC-STD-40-005 V3-0 (revised version)

Using the revised standard, it will be necessary to understand which risk assessments shall be used when they exist. This is decided by whether the risk assessment has been conducted according to current or previous requirements, and whether it has been conducted at the national or global level.

When a National Risk Assessment that has been approved according to revised requirements exists, it must be used. These risk assessments will have been conducted at the national level according to the latest requirements and will contain the most detail.

If for a particular supply area this doesn’t exist, but the area is covered by FSC’s Centralized National Risk Assessment, then the risk designations from this shall be used, as the assessment has been conducted according to the revised requirements.

If neither of these exist, but an NRA following “old” requirements exists, the low risk designations from this may be used until the end of 2017. Unspecified risk designations here shall be treated as unassessed.

When looking for risk assessments on the new database, countries or regions covered by the revised risk assessment will be displayed in either green (low risk) or in orange (specified risk). Countries or regions without a revised risk assessment will be indicated in grey. Clicking on a country of interest will open a window containing detailed information on risk assessment indicators and the source of the risk assessment (NRA according to current or previous requirements, or CNRA).

Because of the limited use of ‘old’ NRAs in the revised Controlled Wood system, the countries or regions for which an ‘old’ NRA has been approved may be displayed in a different way. If the whole country or region was assessed as low risk, it will be displayed in green. But if only a part of it was assessed as low risk or the whole area was designated as unspecified risk – this area will be displayed in grey. Only clicking on a particular country will reveal this detailed information and the low risk areas relevant for the country.

Stakeholders are therefore encouraged to always explore the detailed information about the countries or regions they are interested in, beyond simply looking at how the map is initially displayed.

It is also very important to note that all approved NRAs are listed in FSC-PRO-60-002b List of FSC approved Controlled Wood documents, where the version of the risk assessment procedures that were used to develop and approve them is also indicated. FSC-PRO-60-002b can be downloaded from the Global Forest Registry.

The use of risk designations in NRAs developed according to FSC-PRO-60-002 V2-0 (old requirements) in the revised Controlled Wood system.