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Forestry Support Program

The GFS Forestry Support Program (FSP) is designed to provide a formal stepwise approach for forestry companies to meet requirements for certification under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or PEFC Certification requirements. GFS provides continual technical support to define gaps in the current system; assist in the development of management planning and operational procedures then support implementation and monitoring of the management system that can be combined with ISO 14001 standard on environmental management systems.

The FSP consists of 3 main stages:

  • Baseline assessment of current system & development of a work plan
  • Technical support on forest / plantation management planning
  • Technical support on implementation

Stage 1: Baseline Assesment

Involves evaluation of the organization relative to the requirements of FSC (and additional standards as required by the client) with the assessment of existing documentation and forest management practices.  The main purpose is to identify the significant environmental aspects of the organization and the “gaps” or deficiencies in terms of management systems that need to be fulfilled against the FSC and national regulatory requirements.  GFS develops a Work Plan for specific actions to be taken to address each GAP within an agreed time frame as part of the development of a forest management system.

A Statement of Participation is issued to the Forestry Company following its agreement with the Action Plan, Audit Schedule and financial proposal.

Stage 2: Technical support on forest management planning

Training Workshop:

The initial step in the development of a management system is a 3-day training workshop to staff on the understanding of the relevant certification standards and requirements. This is to ensure all relevant staff and other personnel are fully prepared to design, develop and implement the system. Training can also be provided to staff on techniques of establishing a system of documentation and control to meet the ISO 14001 standard.

Training on management planning & operational systems:

GFS will provide a series of technical training modules that will include:

  • Forest Inventory systems.
  • Environmental & Social Assessment (High Conservation Values – HCV).
  • Management planning in regards to long term management planning, annual planning and operational harvest planning.
  • Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) systems.
  • Operational monitoring / growth monitoring of forest resources.
  • Environmental and social monitoring systems.
  • Training on work safety.
  • Development of procedural systems.

    Stage 3: Technical support on implementation

    Implementation Support:

    Following development of the management system, GFS will monitor progress of field implementation in accordance with the schedule to verify continual improvement in field operations relevant to the management system and to address gaps in compliance to the certification standard (FSC / PEFC).

    GFS will provide monitoring reports to document progress and provide recommendations to support continued improvement in operations and implementation of the management system.

    Technical Support on implementation will include:

    • Harvest planning for RIL
    • Reduced Impact Logging
    • Resource monitoring & protection
    • Environmental performance & monitoring (HCV & Wildlife)
    • Social assessment, consultation, dispute resolution

    GFS will guide the company on implementation of the management system, RIL, monitoring systems etc. during the project period.  GFS will conduct a 2nd party assessment to evaluate compliance to the target standards and regulatory requirements to document progress in closing the Gaps identified in the Baseline Assessment.

    The company will need to have a pre-assessment for certification by an accredited Certification Body (CB) to evaluate potential gaps in conformance to the standard that need to be addressed before the main certification assessment.

    GFS will provide technical support as needed for the company to address the gaps identified in the pre-assessment report.