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Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme (IFWCS)

Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme (IFWCS) mind map
December 2023 News
Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change introduces IFWCS
When
Launched in December 2023
Why
Promote sustainable forest management and agroforestry
What
Sustainable Forest Management
Responsible, balanced use of forest resources
Meets present needs without compromising future generations
Agroforestry
Integrates trees/shrubs with crops/livestock
Combines agricultural and forestry practices
Types of Certifications
Forest Management Certification
Based on Indian Forest Management Standard
8 criteria, 69 indicators, 254 verifiers
Part of National Working Plan Code 2023
Tree Outside Forest Management Certification
New Trees Outside Forests Standard introduced
Chain of Custody Certification
Traces forest products
Applicability
Across India in forest and TOF plantations
Covers government, private, agroforestry, other lands
Includes timber and non-timber forest produce
Where
Applicable nationwide
Who
Indian Forest and Wood Certification Council
Advisory role
Various stakeholders involved
Representatives from eminent institutions
Indian Institute of Forest Management
Overall management of IFWCS
National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies
Under Quality Council of India
Conducts independent audits
Entities Involved
State forest departments
Farmers, Farmer Producer Organizations
Wood-based industries
How
Independent audits by National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies
Third-party certification of compliance
Incentives for complying entities
Pros/Significance
Encourages sustainable forest management
Provides market incentives for responsible practices
Enhances biodiversity conservation
Improves market accessibility globally
Addresses chronic problems in Indian forestry sector
Utilizes Compensatory Afforestation Fund for certification
Cons and/or Challenges
Issues in sector
Forest rights
Forest degradation
Biodiversity losses
Encroachments
Lack of manpower
Way Forward
Focus on identifying and resolving chronic forestry issues
Enhance third-party monitoring and evaluation
State-level workshops for awareness and technical assistance
Pilot projects in various states for certification

Summary: The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme is a national initiative aimed at promoting sustainable forest management and agroforestry. It includes certifications for forest management, tree outside forest management, and chain of custody. This scheme is applicable throughout India and involves multiple stakeholders, including state forest departments, farmers, and wood-based industries. The scheme’s implementation is expected to provide market incentives for entities adhering to sustainable practices, thereby addressing various challenges in the forestry sector such as forest rights issues, forest degradation, and biodiversity losses.

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