Bulgarian National Forest Stewardship Standard Approved | WWF

Bulgarian National Forest Stewardship Standard Approved

Posted on 23 May 2017    
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Sofia – In a move expected to contribute to the sustainable management of Bulgarian forests, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has approved an FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard in Bulgaria: FSC-STD-BGR-01-2016 Bulgarian Natural and Plantations Forest and Small and Low-intensity Managed Forests (SLIMF). At present, approximately a third of Bulgarian forests are certified by FSC, a certification system that ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. The Bulgarian standard will come into force starting from 16 August 2017. Bulgaria ranks among the first countries in Europe (including France and Portugal) that successfully completed an NFSS development process in accordance with the latest FSC requirements.
 
The Bulgarian standard was developed by a national working group coordinated by WWF with the participation of ministries, institutions and organizations.By developing the national standard, business, environmental and public stakeholders have demonstrated that they can work together to establish favorable conditions for the conservation, development and proper management of valuable public resources such as forests," said Neli Doncheva, Head of Forestry at WWF-Bulgaria.
 
"FSC’s criteria provide an internationally recognized standard for responsible forest management. The need for adaptation at regional and national level is due to the variety of legal, social and geographical differences in which the forests are managed in the different countries. For this reason, additional indicators applicable at national level are developed to the general criteria. They define local specifics and set relevant requirements for responsible forest management in the respective country," explained Neli Doncheva, Head of Forestry at WWF-Bulgaria. To date, Bulgarian forests have been certified according to generic global standards of FSC.
 
The Bulgarian standard was approved by the FSC Board’s Policy and Standards Committee on 20 October 2016 provided that two conditions were to be addressed before an effective date to be assigned. The standards development group has successfully met these conditions. The intervening three-month period for the standard to come into force is in place for Conformity Assessment Bodies to adapt their systems to the new standard. The certification bodies are required to inform all their clients in Bulgaria that they shall be assessed against the new standard from 16 August 2017.
 
Clients may opt to be audited against the new standard from the effective date, but all assessments shall be with the new standard from 16 August 2017. As audits take place over the course of the year, all existing clients shall be audited against the new standard by 16 August 2018 to remain certified. Any certificates based on the old standard will be considered expired by FSC as of this date.
 
Bulgarian national forest stewardship standard can be accessed here:
https://ic.fsc.org/en/document-center/id/226

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