Expanding FSC certification at landscape-level through incorporating additional eco-system services

Starting Date: August 2011
Ending Date: March 2017
Location: Global (Chile, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam). ANSAB is a partner for the Nepal portion.
Donor(s): Global Environmental FacilityUnited Nations Environment ProgrammeForest Stewardship Council (also Lead executor)
Implementation Partner(s): CIFOR, RECOFTC, LEI, Pustanling-MOF ,WARSI, Tropical Forest Trust – in Indonesia; FSC National Initiative – in Chile; MARD – in Vietnam.

ANSAB’s project implementation partners in Nepal – FECOFUNNTNC and Relief International (RI)

ANSAB joined hands with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to develop a multi-country project “Expanding FSC certification at landscape-level through incorporating additional eco-system services” to be implemented with Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant and co-finance of various partners with the goal to improve and promote responsible forest management for a range of ecosystem services through the medium of FSC certification. This project aimed to incorporate expanded and enhanced global and national environmental standards of FSC certification which are applied to emerging markets for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services as an initial step for upgrading successful models in order to improve ecosystem functions. In Nepal, this project was implemented in partnership with Federation of community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Relief International (RI) in two landscapes of Dolakha district namely, Charnawati and Gaurishankar. 
 
This project includes a total of 90 forest management units (FMUs) comprising 15,398 hectares of which 73 CFUGs covers 7,835 ha forest area of Charnawati landscape including forest carbon sequestration, hydrological services, biodiversity conservation and soil conservation as potential ecosystem services and 17 CFUGs covers 7,563 ha forest area of Gaurishankar landscape including recreational services, biodiversity conservation and soil conservation as potential ecosystem services. Around 19,000 people from these 90 FMUs were trained on ecosystem services certification, cost and benefits of the certification, process of ecosystem services certification, account and record keeping, and ecosystem services assessment and management through meetings, trainings, and workshops at local level where about 40% of the participants were female. 
 
As Nepal is moving towards ecosystem services markets and climate change initiatives, this project helped provide input to finalize IGI-Global standards, a science-based certification models. FSC revised and approved IGI Version 5 (P&C V5) for using in a consistent way across the world and strengthen the credibility of the FSC system. The IGI V5 incorporates wide range of ecosystem services, which are not adequately covered under sustainable forest management certification, which is one of the key achievements of the project. Based on IGI V5, the national forest certification standards has been planned to develop in Nepal. For this, a national standard development group (SDG) comprising of nine experts representing social, economic and environmental sectors was formed to develop understanding of national stakeholders on forest certification for ecosystem services. These SDG members worked on the respective principles, criteria, indicators and means of verifications, and provided their inputs for drafting FSC National Stewardship Standard (NFSS) draft. The NFSS draft for Nepal provides benchmark for interested parties to manage their forests environmentally appropriate: the production of timber, non-timber products and ecosystem services maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes; socially beneficial: forest management helps both local people and society at large to enjoy long term benefits and therefore provides strong incentives to sustain forest resources and adhere to long-term management plans; economically viable: forest operations are structured and managed so as to be sufficiently profitable, without generating financial profit at the expense of the forest resources, the ecosystem or affected communities. 
 
The project also contributed to develop the procedural document on “demonstrating the impact of forest stewardship on ES” and to design international market study of FSC certified ES; conducted market study of certified ecosystem services at national and local level in Nepal focusing on forest carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, water, soil conservation and recreational services; provided ToT (Training of Trainers) to 46 local resource persons on ecosystem services certification among which 9 LRPs were involved in facilitating the process of FPIC to take consent for resource manager and raising awareness of communities, and preparing the groups on FSC forest certification; produced 8 forest management lead auditors and trained professional on FSC SFM assessment in Nepal; revised 90 forest management plan and groups’ constitution that includes detail provision of managing forest for timber, NTFPs, forest carbon, water, biodiversity, and soil among which 17 forest management groups were provisioned for recreational services; and prepared 90 FMUs and brought 106 CFUGs under the scope of pre-assessment (17 CFUGs in Gaurishankar landscape) and reassessment (89 CFUGs in Charnawati landscape).