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 Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme

Context:

Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has launched the Indian Forest & Wood Certification Scheme.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme: Fostering Sustainable Practices

Objective and Scope:

  • The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme is a national initiative promoting sustainable forest management and agroforestry through voluntary third-party certification.

Certification Components:

  • The scheme encompasses three key certifications: forest management certification, tree outside forest management certification, and chain of custody certification.

Market Incentives:

  • Entities adhering to responsible forest management and agroforestry practices can benefit from market incentives through this certification scheme.

Stakeholders Involved:

  • Participants include state forest departments, individual farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in agroforestry, and wood-based industries across the value chain.

Forest Management Standards:

  • Forest Management certification adheres to the Indian Forest Management Standard, featuring 8 criteria, 69 indicators, and 254 verifiers, integrated into the National Working Plan Code 2023.

Trees outside Forests Standard:

  • A separate standard for Trees outside Forests is introduced to address specific aspects.

Oversight and Governance:

  • The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Council, serving as a multistakeholder advisory body, oversees the implementation of the certification scheme.

Council Representation:

  • Members of the council include representatives from institutions such as the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Forest Survey of India, Quality Council of India, Indian Institute of Forest Management, along with involvement from Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Operational Agency:

  • The Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, acts as the scheme operating agency, responsible for the overall management of the certification initiative.

Accreditation Process:

  • The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, under the Quality Council of India, accredits certification bodies conducting independent audits to assess entities’ adherence to scheme standards.

 


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