World Bank/WWF Alliance to Field-test a Tool for Assessment of Forest Certification Systems
The upcoming field tests will use the questionnaire to assess the application of two forest certification schemes—the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) —at the national level in both Eastern and Western Europe. The Alliance will sponsor the testing program in six countries in Eastern Europe that are eligible to borrow from The World Bank while WWF will sponsor the testing program in Western Europe. The practical experience gained from this exercise will be used to refine the questionnaire and assist WWF and The World Bank evaluate which of the activities they have supported over the last several years can be counted when scoring progress against the Alliance’s certification target.
"At a time when unsustainable and illegal forest harvesting robs people in developing countries of their livelihoods and contributes to environmental decline, it is essential that we have a reliable tool for assessing forest certification systems whose use we may be asked to support," said David Cassells, The World Bank’s Alliance Co-Chair.
Prior to moving on to the field testing phase, the Alliance engaged with representatives from FSC and PEFC, the two certification systems under assessment; experiences forest scientists; and practitioners from a broad range of organizations to help refine the questionnaire for field testing. The Alliance has appointed an independent, multi-disciplinary review panel to oversee the process, ensure technical rigor and objectivity, and provide advice to the Alliance partners on further improvements to the QACC.
"We commend those systems that have agreed to participate in this exercise," said Duncan Pollard, WWF’s Head of European Forest Operations. "It speaks volumes to their commitment to transparency and stakeholder engagement."
The Alliance promotes the use of forest certification to help improve forest management practice, and is working towards a target of helping to bring 200 million hectares of production forests under independently certified management.
"Minimum requirements on environmental management and social issues, as well as transparency and stakeholder participation, are essential requirements for forest certification," said Bruce Cabarle, WWF’s Alliance Co-Chair. "The QACC provides a systematic framework for assessing whether a particular system meets the requirements developed by the Alliance and subsequently incorporated into The World Bank’s Operational Policy on Forests. The revised QACC will provide a useful tool for The World Bank and WWF as they seek to catalyze real improvements in the management of the World’s forests."
For more information:
Co-ordinator, World Bank/WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation & Sustainable Use
WWF European Forest Programme
Tel: + 41 22 364 9229
WWF Global Forest Program
Tel: + 1 - 202-822 3450
The World Bank
Tel: +1 - 202- 473 1376
WWF Forests Policy Officer
Tel: + 44 77 80 95 8226