14 July, 2017
OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN FORESTRY ASSURANCE SCHEME (SAFAS)
South Africa is
developing a South African National Forestry Certification standard as part of
the South African Forestry Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) which will seek endorsement
by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The objective is to have a National Certification Scheme that is based
on the DAFF Principles Criteria and Indicators for sustainable forest
management that is appropriate for all scales of forestry operations. The goal
is for forestry certification to be a tool for improving forest management and
facilitate access to markets that require certification. Currently about 80% of
South African plantations are certified under the FSC system but very few of these
plantations are on private farms or in communal areas. As the
demand for certified products increases, both abroad and locally, certification
could become a trade barrier to smaller management units. This is a concern for the entire timber
industry as most timber growers supply common markets. In addition, South
Africa's land reform programme is likely to result in a greater proportion of
the plantation estate being managed by smaller scale timber growers. It was
felt that a National Standard that is more sensitive to the needs of the
smaller scale forestry operations is needed.
The standard forms part of the policies and standards of SAFAS which is
administered by a National Governing Body (NGB) which is a member of the PEFC.
The scheme will allow forestry operations of all scales that comply with the
standards and scheme's requirements to be certified under SAFAS and once
endorsed by the PEFC be recognized as certified by the PEFC.
BACKGROUND TO THE STANDARD
Environmental Committee of Forestry South Africa (FSA) tasked a Steering
Committee to develop a certification system that could be endorsed by the PEFC.
This Committee suggested using the National PCI&S Framework as a basis for
developing an auditable standard.
Forest Act of 1998 binds forestry operations to principles of sustainable
forest management and promotes the development of a system of Principles,
Criteria, Indicators and Standards (PCI&S) for sustainable forest
management. The current set of PCI&S is the result of an intensive review
process of the second edition of the manual (2007).
The steps that
are being followed to develop the certification system include:
Establishment of a
National Governing Body (NGB) responsible for the governance and administration
of the system. This body will include broad stakeholder interests and will
oversee the system. (Figure 1). The NGB will apply to become a member of the
approval from government for the use of the National PCI&S Framework for the purpose of
developing the standard.
PCI&S Framework for public use.
Development of an
auditable standard using PCI&S Framework as a template.
Development of certification,
accreditation and chain of custody procedures.
Development of Group Certification
Procedures that will enable Smallholders to achieve certification (risk based
certification of landscapes).
The complete standard setting process is outlined in the draft Standard
Setting Procedures HERE
| Review of
PCIS including full public participation process.
Working group develop the Draft 1 of SAFAS Standard from the PCIS
| Call for
participation in SAFAS Working Group
of participants in working group
| Working group
produces Draft 2 of SAFAS FM standard
| Made draft
standard publicly available and announce the start of 60 day comment process
| Completion of
stakeholder comment period.
included Draft 3 produced and endorsed by Working Group
| Pilot testing
of Standards and Draft 4 endorsed by Working Group
| SAFAS GA
approval and Submit completed SAFAS system to PEFC
report from PEFC standard reviewer
system documentation according to reviewer recommendations
| Send SAFAS
system to SANAS and begin trial of SAFAS system
| PEFC decision
on endorsement of system
TO STAKEHOLDERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORKING GROUP
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the
scope and process of developing the SAFAS Standard as described above and can
find the draft Standard Setting Procedures on the SAFAS web page, www.forestry.co.za
. Any organizations that would like join the standard development working
group can nominate representatives by sending a request to Craig Norris. Comments and nominations must be received by
Monday the 28th July 2017. Contact
details can be found below.
The nominations for the working group will be
accepted or refused based on the requirements for balanced representation of
the existing technical working group. The working group must be prepared to review the Drafts of the Standard
and provide technical input into the standard. This may be done working group meetings which may be physical, using web
conferencing tools or via e-mail circulation. This is a voluntary process and SAFAS will not be able to cover the
costs of working group members except in the case of disadvantaged member of
the working group. Such applications
will be evaluated if and when the need arises.
PARTICIPATION IN STANDARD DEVELOPMENT
Stakeholders will be able to access the Draft
SAFAS Forest Management Standard from the 31st
of July 2017. Stakeholders have 60 days to comment on the
standard. The closure of the comment
period will be the 28th
of September 2017.
There is a link from www.forestry.co.za
which leads to the SAFAS web page. This
start of the comment period will be publically announced.
DETAILS AND COMMENT PROCESS
Please state comments in writing by clearly
referencing the number of the requirement you wish to comment on. You may also make general comments as you
wish. These comments can be made on
e-mail or a separate document.
Comments to be submitted to the Chairman of the
SAFAS Council, Craig Norris via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively they can be faxed to (033) 897 8502 or
posted to NCT P.O. Box 1445 Pietermaritzburg 3200 South Africa.
For any queries, Craig Norris can be contacted
via telephone on (033) 345 8529