Joint Webinar by NCCF and NABCB on “NCCF FM Certification Scheme and Accreditation Requirements for the Certification Bodies

15th May 2020, Friday: The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) and National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) jointly hosted the webinar focused on understanding the requirements for provisional recognition of certification bodies for NCCF Forest Management Certification Scheme, including Chain of Custody Certification and business potential and benefits for certification bodies by performing audits against certification schemes and standards developed by NCCF.

This webinar had 90 participants, comprising leaders from leading certification bodies (CBs), experienced and qualified auditors, natural resource management experts and consultants.

The panel comprised Mr Rajesh Maheshwari, CEO, NABCB, Mr Anil Jauhri, Chairperson, Certification Advisory Group of NCCF, Mr A.K. Srivastava, DG NCCF, Dr Mrutunjay Jena, Director, NABCB and Mr Varun Grover, Assistant Director, NCCF. The participants expressed keen interest in understanding NCCF’s scheme of certification and the requirements for provisional recognition of the CBs to perform certification audit against the said scheme.

Mr Rajesh Maheshwari, CEO, NABCB expressed concern over the declining forest cover globally and emphasized on sustainable utilization of forest resources and the underlying legality issues. NCCF certification scheme, endorsed by the PEFC, will be helpful for the end users to have a product coming from certified source. He assured that NABCB would be playing the role of a robust and supportive Accreditation Board for NCCF Schemes and for the certification bodies.

Mr Anil Jauhri, Chairperson, CAG of NCCF complimented the NCCF for developing an Indian scheme of certification that has been endorsed by PEFC, giving it international recognition. He encouraged the certification bodies to take up provisional recognition of NABCB to perform certification against the NCCF FM Standard and later may get formal accreditation to strengthen their presence in the market.

Mr A.K. Srivastava, DG NCCF, made a presentation on the advantages of forest certification, existing international and country specific schemes of certification, NCCF’s sustainability standards viz. FM and ToF Certification Schemes, the measures needed to accelerate certification in India and the important role CBs could play in enhancing sustainability through responsible and ethical auditing process.

Mr Srivastava gave a new dimension to the discussion in the context of conservation challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, while mentioning that climate change, habitat fragmentation, land use changes, biodiversity loss and illegal wildlife trade etc were often identified as possible reasons for emergence of zoonotic diseases and animal borne pandemic like COVID-19. As health of people and planet are interdependent, we have to adopt sustainable lifestyles and focus on green growth, climate change mitigation,

biodiversity conservation and prudent management of natural resources. Certification promotes sustainable management of natural resources and it could contribute in a small way to keep at bay COVID like situations in future.

Mr Varun Grover, Assistant Director, NCCF covered business prospects for CBs by taking accreditation for NCCF Schemes and highlighted potential income projections from them. He also briefed about the technical competencies involved for personnel involved in certification.

Dr Mrutunjay Jena, Director, NABCB provided comprehensive insights on Accreditation and Provisional Approval Requirements of NABCB for the NCCF-PEFC FM Certification Scheme. He briefed about the technical competencies involved for CBs to take up accreditation from NABCB.

The organizers had made arrangements for responding to the queries of participants through Q&A in the chat box. The presentations were followed by intense and lively interaction. The webinar helped the participants to have a good of certification, NCCF ‘s Schemes, process and requirements for provisional recognition and business potential of certification. A few CBs expressed interest to obtain provisional recognition of NABCB. The participants felt that the intended objective of the webinar was by and large was achieved and such joint NCCF/ NABCB events could be a regular feature to update their professional skills.

Presentations by NCCF and NABCB can be seen as under:

NCCF Presentation: About NCCF, NCCF-PEFC FM Scheme and Business Prospects for CBs NABCB Presentation: Accreditation and Provisional Recognition for NCCF FM Certification Scheme