Comments received from stakeholders during public consultations on the forest management certification standard of the PAFC Congo Basin scheme (PAFC CB)


The development process of the PAFC CB forest certification standard sparked enthusiasm among forest management stakeholders who provided more than 300 comments.

In the frame of the development process of the PAFC CB forest management certification standard validated on October 27 (see the link by the regional working group set up at the beginning of the process , two Public Consultations (PC) were organized.

The purpose of these PCs was to allow stakeholders not members of the working group (Forum) to participate and make their contributions to the development of the standard.

The first PC was open from December 13, 2019 to February 14, 2020 and the second one from May 22 to June 28, 2020.

The standard development process provided that each comment received:

  • is registered and reviewed by the technical team of the project;
  • is subject of a response
  • give rise to one or more proposals to modify/adjust the requirement concerned when justified
  • is submitted to the Forum for analysis, adoption, reformulation or rejection of the responses and proposed modifications made.

At the end of PC1, a teleconference was organized with the members of the Forum. Unfortunately, the quorum, required for decision making was not reached. Some participants experienced internet connection issues. Taking into account the limited time before the launch of the pilot test, the Forum agreed that the version of the standard with the propositions of modifications resulting from the first public consultation should be sent to the pilot test auditors to consider them during the test.

After the pilot test, the comments and recommendations of the auditors as well as the comments and proposals for modifications from PC1 were examined by the Forum with the participation of all members to produce the version of the standard submitted to PC2.

The comments received from PC2 were also processed and examined according to the 4 provisions of the development process recalled above.

Regarding PC1, one hundred and ninety-one (191) comments in total were received from 17 stakeholders including logging companies, NGOs, international organizations working in natural resources management, administration in charge of forests as well as consultants and teachers from Congo Basin countries and beyond. Comments, responses and proposed changes to CP1 can be found here.

Comments from PC1 mainly focused on definitions, social aspects, logging operations, wildlife management aspects, environmental impact studies aspects, carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions.

As for CP2, a total of one hundred and twelve (112) comments were received from 13 stakeholders from the same stakeholder groups who provided comments during CP1. Comments, responses and proposed changes to CP2 can be found here.