The objective of this project was to establish a common framework for forest legality assessment that:
1. Aligns the legality requirements of different areas in the FSC system: FSC Controlled Wood, Principle 1 of the FSC Global Principles & Criteria, and Modular Approach Programme entry requirements.
2. Can be adopted by forest legality assurance systems.
3. Can be used in risk assessment and risk mitigation by companies implementing due diligence systems in order to comply with the EU Timber Regulation, the US Lacey Act and similar legislations.
Using a risk-based approach, the project developed a framework for assessing timber legality in a country. This included tools and guidance on how to:
Identify types of legislation to be considered included under the FSC definition for forest legality and procurement legislation requirements
Identify applicable legislation related to forest harvesting within the country or region covered by the risk assessment.
Identify national and international sources of information regarding compliance level with applicable legislation.
Evaluate the compliance level for each of the applicable legislative areas identified and determine if the compliance level fulfils the requirements for low risk for legal non-compliance.
Identify and select control measures/risk mitigation actions In cases where low risk cannot be concluded.
Results and impact
The project created a unified approach to geography-based assessment of the risk of illegal timber harvesting, transport and trade, on par with the EUTR and similar legislations. The framework is being used for streamlined centralised National Risk Assessments (NRA) under the FSC Controlled Wood system.