Pilots to test IFL draft procedures and guidelines are launched!

Motion 23/IFL: FSC has launched a call for applications to participate in the testing of draft procedures and guidelines for the management of IFLs using the landscape approach.

Apply before May, the 31st !


Draft procedures and guidelines discussed by FFAG

Over the last few months, FSC, assisted by FFAG (Focus Forest Advisory Group on which ATIBT has a seat), has developed a proposal for procedures and guidelines in response to motion 23 (voted at the 2022 GA). These documents define the framework to enable National Standards Development Groups to propose indicators for the management and protection of IFLs using the landscape approach. These documents are available here.

On 28th March, a majority of the Focus Forest Advisory Group members endorsed for piloting the draft procedure: FSC-PRO-60-004 - Development of indicators for the protection of Intact Forest Landscapes considering the landscape level.

Five out of six members supported starting the pilots with the draft procedure. The representative from the Environmental North chamber raised one key outstanding issue preventing him from supporting the endorsement of the document to be piloted, as it does not establish boundaries or a framework that defines the ‘safety rails’ for Standard Development Groups to specify protection thresholds for Intact Forest Landscapes in the Management Unit. In previous calls, most of the FFAG members had agreed that the discussion on minimum protection thresholds could not be detached from the context of the landscape and should be integrated into each landscape and local discussion. These lessons learned in the pilots would then inform the final decision on minimum thresholds. To facilitate this, it was agreed by most of the FFAG members that calibration between the pilots will be organized, potentially involving FFAG members and representatives from SDGs. The Focus Forest Advisory Group reached consensus on all other parts of the procedure.


Pilots for Implementation of Motion 23 commencing

The pilots for the implementation of Motion 23/2022 - Use landscape-wide approaches adapted to local conditions and strengthen Standard Development Groups (SDGs) are officially underway!

As mentioned in our last news, the FSC Board has proposed using the pilot approach to test the procedure. The FSC Director General has approved the Terms of Reference for the Standard Development Groups to begin the piloting phase, and the call for applicants to participate in the pilots has been released  the May, the 7th and the registration for all FSC network partners to join is open until May 31st, 2024. The call is open to all countries with interest in testing the draft guidance and draft procedure.


What is the Pilot about?  The pilot provides a framework to test innovative landscape approaches for the protection of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs). The pilot has two-fold objectives:  

  1. To test FSC-GUI-60-004a Guidance: Landscape Approach to IFLs and FSC-PRO-60-004 V1-0 Development of Indicators for the Protection of IFLs Considering the Landscape Level and provide feedback on the clarity, completeness, and feasibility of both documents.
  2. To support the SDG to develop IFL-related indicators in the locally adapted FSC Forest Stewardship Standards.


How participate? This pilot is open for FSC Network Partners and Standard Development Groups. Interested participants can indicate their involvement by completing Annex 1 of the Terms of Reference (ToR). Submit the completed Annex 1 to by 31st May 2024. The Terms of Reference, Annex 1 of the ToR and associated Guidance and Procedure can be found in the documents attached to the process page here


What are the next steps?

June-July 2024: launch of agreed pilots

July 2025: end of pilots (or earlier if pilots are completed)

During 2025: analysis of pilot results, revision of the procedure, and integration into the FSC normative framework.

The BoD will decide upon a proposal to extend the validity of the interim rule in the advice note ADVICE-20-007-018 Protection of Intact Forests Landscapes (IFLs).


We encourage our members and partners involved in the Congo Basin National Standards Development Groups to apply!