The internal procedure FSC-PRO-10-606 Approval of Forest Stewardship Standards, which describes the approval process of national standards by the Policy and Standards Committee (PSC), has been revised to reflect the FSC Board of Directors decision to streamline the approval process of national standards.
In November 2019, the Board delegated the approval of Interim National Standards (INS) and low complex National Forest Stewardship Standards (NFSS) to the Policy Steering Group (PSG), an internal committee of the FSC secretariat. During the revision, minor inconsistencies in the document have been corrected.
The Board requested the secretariat to develop criteria to distinguish ‘low-complexity’ NFSS from 'high-complexity’ ones. These criteria have been developed in 2020 in consultation with the PSC, Standard Development Group (SDG) coordinators and the PSU Regional Managers. The criteria considers the situation in the country, the content of the standard and other aspects, such as potential disputes through the development process.
These criteria were approved by PSG in August 2020. FSC has developed the new internal procedure FSC-PRO-10-607 Approval of Interim National Standards (INS) and low complex National Forest Stewardship Standards (NFSS), that describes the assessment and decision-making process for this type of national standards by PSG and includes the criteria in its addendum.
In 2020 PSG has approved the INS for Belize, Cambodia, Croatia, Guyana, Kenya Philippines and Suriname and PSC has approved the NFSS for Lithuania, Republic of Gabon, Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, Japan, and the RFSS for Smallholders (Asia-Pacific Region). Some of these national standards were approved with conditions that have been or are being closed.