News  |  06.11.2020

Validation of the PAFC Congo basin (PAFC CB) forest management certification standard by the regional working group (Forum)

On the 26th and 27th October 2020 the PAFC CB forest certification has been validated ! Feedback on this validation with lively and passionate debates.

Validation of the PAFC Congo basin (PAFC CB) forest management certification standard by the regional working group (Forum)

The PAFC CB Forest Management Certification Standard Development Forum held its first workshop from November 25 to 29, 2019 at the Leet-Dorian Hotel in Libreville.

At the end of this first workshop marked by lively exchanges, the members of the Forum had validated the first version of the PAFC CB regional forest certification standard.

This first version was submitted to a 60-day public consultation between December 13, 2019 and February 14, 2020. Comments received from stakeholders gave rise to the formulation of proposals for changes to certain requirements.

The version of the standard incorporating these propositions of changes was pilot tested to assess the relevance, auditability and applicability of the requirements.

The comments and observations of the auditors who carried out this pilot test also gave rise to some new propositions of modifications. All of these propositions of changes were reviewed by Forum members and were either adopted, reworded before adoption, or rejected during a teleconference held in May, 2020.

The version obtained from this exchange was submitted to a second public consultation. The above-mentioned process was also followed and the propositions of modifications obtained from this second public consultation were adopted, reformulated or rejected by the Forum. It is this latest version of the standard that was submitted for validation during the second workshop of the Forum.

The objectives of this workshop were to:

  • validate the forest management certification standard of the PAFC CB certification scheme;
  • adopt for the PAFC BC scheme, the PEFC Chain of Custody standard, the standard for the usage of the PEFC logo and the standard for requirements for chain of custody certification bodies.

Organized with financial support from PPECF, PEFC International and technical support from TEREA, this second workshop, which was the final validation workshop of the standard, was held by videoconference on October 26 and 27.

A group of participants was formed in each country to be connected to the virtual meeting room. Thus, the members and experts of the Forum from Cameroon met at the Bengo hotel in Ebolawa, those from Congo, at the GHS hotel in Brazzaville, those from Gabon in the meeting room of the UFIGA in Libreville and those from DRC in the FIB (Federation des Industries du Bois) headquarter in Kinshasa [see the list of participants here]. In addition to these groups, participants were also connected from France and Switzerland.

During the two days, Forum members and experts discussed and reviewed each requirement as well as the annexes (normative guidelines) of the standard.

The lively, heated and sometimes passionate debates gave rise to an exchange of views and analyzes on each requirement and the annexes between the members and experts of the Forum, with sometimes clarifications provided by the members of the project team. . These discussions were also an opportunity for Forum members to consider all the other comments from the second public consultation that did not lead to propositions of modifications of the standard. This made it possible to finalize the responses to the comments received from stakeholders during the second public consultation.

The debates focused mainly on a few definitions that had not been discussed previously as well as on:

- the requirements of theme 5 relating to compliance with current national regulations and ratified international conventions:

- the requirements of topic 6 dealing with the sustainability of forestry activities carried out within the FMU;

- the requirements of theme 7 relating to the minimization of impacts on biodiversity and the protective functions of the forest;

- the requirements of theme 8 relating to the improvement of the living conditions of the affected indigenous peoples;

- the requirements of topic 9 dealing with the improvement of the working and living conditions of workers and their beneficiaries.

- The annexes of the standard which give guidelines on the implementation of certain requirements.

At the end of these discussions, the forest management standard of the PAFC CB certification scheme was validated by consensus of the members of the Forum [see the final communiqué of the workshop here]

The PEFC Chain of Custody Standard, the Standard on the Usage of the PEFC Logo and the Standard on Requirements for Chain of Custody Certification Bodies have also been adopted for the PAFC CB certification scheme by the Forum.

REMINDER

What is the "forum"?

The cornerstone of the PAFC Congo Basin forest certification standards development process, the PAFC Congo Basin Forum is the temporary consultative body responsible for developing by consensus forest management standard.