The FSC General Assembly has just ended after 6 days of discussions in Bali. We present here our first analysis. French was added as an official FSC language, and Motion 23 on IFLs, carried by ATIBT, was also widely adopted.
In preparation for the vote on Motion 23 on Wednesday, October 12, ATIBT organized a side-event on October 9 to explain the issues of this motion and of the IFLs for sector. On this occasion, Prof. Lee White, Minister of Water and Forests of Gabon, had intervened in a video clip, explaining the efforts of Gabon in recent years to support sustainable forest management.
Wednesday, October 12 was then a highlight of the GA, with the vote of the motion 23 submitted by ATIBT.
Excellent news that we are happy to announce: motion 23 has been largely validated by the three economic, environmental and social chambers! ATIBT is proud that this collective work with several certified companies, organizations and partners has paid off. The validation of the motion 23 will now allow the implementation of measures adapted to local contexts for the management of IFL.
As a federative actor of the tropical timber industry, we are aware of the need to help reverse global trends of deforestation and biodiversity loss. We understand the constraints and aspirations of local communities, nations and companies engaged in FSC. With the discussions on intact forest landscapes initiated in 2014, we all have realized the need to do things differently. Through Motion 23, we now want:
In recent years, we have observed that the implementation of IFL management is more complicated than we had anticipated, jeopardizing the development of existing certification and certificates in some regions and consequently the forests themselves, local communities and indigenous peoples. In tropical areas in particular, where forests are particularly complex and dynamic, the IFL concept needs to be better integrated to achieve better conservation.
Motion 23, now passed, will aim to lead a robust and inclusive process to revise the IFL rules for all forests, both in the tropics and in temperate and boreal zones. FSC will lead this process with the support of the standards development groups to take into account global issues and local realities.
We therefore welcome the adoption of this motion, which proposes a global approach that integrates all the values we associate with forests and landscapes, whether existential (biodiversity itself), utilitarian (forest management and ecosystem services), or cultural (taking into account local communities and indigenous peoples). We thank the companies that accompanied us to the GA in Bali, organizations and other partners from Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo, as well as certified tropical timber importing countries, who helped develop and promote this motion.