The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has introduced the Indian Forest & Wood Certification Scheme. This voluntary national certification initiative aims to encourage sustainable forest management and agroforestry practices in India. The scheme encompasses forest management certification, tree outside forest management certification, and chain of custody certification.
Components of the Certification Scheme:
Forest Management Certification
- Based on the Indian Forest Management Standard, aligned with the National Working Plan Code 2023.
- Includes 8 criteria, 69 indicators, and 254 verifiers to ensure responsible forest management.
Tree Outside Forest Management Certification
- Focuses on agroforestry practices, promoting sustainable management beyond traditional forest areas.
Chain of Custody Certification
- Ensures that wood and wood-based products in the supply chain adhere to sustainable practices from source to consumer.
- Entities embracing responsible forest management and agroforestry practices, such as state forest departments, farmers, and wood-based industries, can benefit from market incentives.
- The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Council will oversee the scheme, acting as a multistakeholder advisory body.
- Representation from institutions like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Forest Survey of India, Quality Council of India, and more.
The Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, will serve as the scheme’s operating agency, managing its overall implementation.
- The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies under the Quality Council of India will accredit certification bodies.
- These bodies will conduct independent audits to assess adherence to prescribed standards.
- The Council includes representatives from ministries, state forest departments, Forest Development Corporations, and wood-based industries.
Role of Indian Institute of Forest Management
The institute will play a pivotal role in managing and implementing the certification scheme.
Objective and Impact
- Promotes sustainable forest management and agroforestry.
- Encourages responsible practices throughout the wood supply chain.
- Enhances market value for entities adhering to certification standards.