20th August 2020

Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) organized an online Workshop on Forest Certification in collaboration with the Goa Forest Department, on from 1100 hrs. to 1330 hrs. on 20th August 2020

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Subhash Chandra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Department, Government of Goa. While thanking NCCF for organizing the workshop, he expressed that certification has a good potential in Goa for improving and strengthening forest management and responsible management of trees outside forests by farmers and private owners. It will also help wood based industries in using certified wood which will have better market for their products as a large number of foreign tourists visit Goa every year.

Mr. Keshav Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Goa in his introductory remarks, emphasized on the benefits and advantages of Forest certification.

Mr Santosh Kumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Goa and Managing Director, Goa Forest Development Corporation made certain valuable remarks on certification and wanted to have clarity on cost of certification and modalities and advantages of certification of cashew plantations.

The workshop was attended by officers of Goa Forest Department. It was intended to sensitize the professional foresters and stakeholders about the environmental, economic and social advantages of certification and the modalities for taking up certification with the larger objective of promoting sustainable management of forests and trees outside forest.

NCCF finds some important takeaways from the workshop as under:

1. The state has a good potential of certification of Trees outside forests (ToF) including the privately owned forests. ToF and Chain of Custody certification will promote sustainability, enhance income of the private tree owners, forest owners, farmers and augment availability of raw materials for the wood based industries.

2. Certification of private forest areas for which harvesting permission has been obtained from the Regional Office of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, may be considered for certification on priority basis.

3. Some recorded forest areas, having biodiversity rich high conservation value forests could be considered for certification using NCCF FM Certification Standard for their branding, International recognition and further strengthening of the working plan based forest management.

4. People of Goa are environmentally very conscious and certification of forests/trees outside forests will further instil their confidence in forest management and environmental protection.

5. Certification of Cashew plantations may be considered on the lines of certification of rubber plantations taken by Tripura Rubber Corporation. This will also help in branding of Goa cashew.

6. Goa Forest Department may like to conduct an internal assessment of the Forest /ToF areas for taking certification and NCCF will be happy to be of any professional assistance in the matter. A larger webinar could be jointly organized by NCCF and Goa SFD for the stakeholders including sawmill owners, timber traders and wood based industries in future.

Sessions were conducted by distinguished panellists on various aspects of certification. Mr A.K. Srivastava, Director General, NCCF, Mr Avani K Varma, (ex PCCF &HOFF, Karnataka; Chairperson, NCCF Eco-Tourism Standard Development Group), Dr Devendra Pandey, Chairperson, NCCF TOF Standard Development Group (ex PCCF, Goa; HOFF, Arunachal; DG Forest Survey of India), Ms Taruna, Lead Forest Management Auditor, GIPL; Mr. Suneel Pandey, Secretary, NCCF (Vice President, Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division, ITC Ltd., India) were the panellists for the workshop. The topics covered were, “About NCCF and Forest Certification” “NCCF Forest Management Certification Scheme”, “Trees Outside Forest certification Scheme.”, “Modalities for taking up NCCF FM Certification” and “Industry Perspective of Forest Certification”.

Presentations were followed by a dynamic interaction between the officers of Goa Forest department and panellists where they were able to attain better understanding of the advantages and potential of certification in Goa and the modalities of taking up certification. Mr A.K.Bansal, Lead Forest Management Auditor (ex Addl. DG, MoEF&CC; Chairperson, NCCF NWFP Standard Development Group and PCA Group), in his closing remarks, summarized the proceedings of the workshop and appreciated the environmental consciousness among the people of Goa.

The participants appreciated the professional inputs on certification received by them and expressed keen interest in attending more such events by NCCF in the future.

Presentations made in the workshop are attached.

Introduction to NCCF and Forest Certification NCCF Forest Management Certification Scheme NCCF Trees Outside Forest (TOF) Certification Scheme Modalities and Procedures for taking up Certification Industry Perspective of Forest Certification