FSC publishes new Interim Forest Stewardship Standard for Botswana

Mmusi Mmusi
Okavingo Delta area-Hotspot for wildlife in Botswana_Mmusi
Mmusi Mmusi
March 7, 2024
Category : Standards

The Interim Forest Stewardship Standard for Botswana is applicable for all categories of Management Units, including provisions for Small or Low Intensity Managed Forests (SLIMFs) and certification of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP).

This standard that becomes effective from 15 June 2024, representing a significant step forward in FSC's commitment to fostering sustainable forestry practices in Botswana.

FSC is pleased to announce the official release of the new FSC Interim Forest Stewardship Standard (IFSS) for Botswana. This standard reflects FSC commitment to social responsibility, environmental protection, and economic sustainability by translating FSC's Principles and Criteria into effective forest management practices.

Botswana is a country in southern Africa with rich biodiversity and the forestry sector being at the forefront of national attention. This sector, rich in diverse herbaceous and woody vegetation, provides essential goods like fuelwood, timber, and medicinal plants. Land tenure plays a crucial role, highlighting the delicate balance between state, communal, and private ownership. While agricultural lands and conservation areas encompass 46.2% and 20% of the territory, respectively, despite covering 26.7%, only 0.5% of Botswana's extensive woodlands receive formal forest management. Governed by both national and international policies, the forestry sector employs around 3,000 people, with 80% of timber industry wood used as fuel. Ecotourism, featuring iconic landmarks like the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, underscores the significance of responsible ecosystem management. However, challenges persist for Indigenous Peoples (3.3% of the population), who face difficulties in governance and ancestral land preservation. As Botswana strives for sustainable natural resource utilization, ongoing strategies and programs prioritize rehabilitation, land management, and conservation.

The new IFSS for Botswana was developed between January 2022 and February 2023. This process included two stakeholder consultations and two face-to-face stakeholder consultation meetings held in Gaborone and Maun, respectively. The standard was finally approved on November 29, 2023.

The IFSS for Botswana (English version) can be downloaded in the FSC Document Centre. Inquiries regarding the standard can be directed to nationalstandards@fsc.org