Accreditation Services International (ASI) at work in the Congo Basin: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Mobilizes for a Meeting on ASI in Douala
The report of the Meeting and presentations of speakers are available on the website of the CBFP
Douala (Cameroon), 3 March 2012 – FSC Africa held a meeting in view of presenting Accreditation Services International (ASI) and its current audit work in logging companies in the Congo Basin. It was organized by FSC Regional Office for Africa and ASI with the financial contributions of WWF Spain, ASI and FSC Regional Office for Africa.
The meeting was opened to all interested stakeholders and partners (financial partners, public institutions, the private sector, the civil society, research institutes, training institutions, students, the press, etc.) who were present in Douala after the meeting organized by the CBFP Facilitation. International organizations, NGOs and logging companies attended deliberations.
It was also attended by representatives of the press involved in environmental issues from the public and private sectors. The meeting was attended by 31 persons opportune to exchange on forest management and certification issues over the world in general and in the Congo Basin in particular.
Specifically, this meeting enabled participants to get precise information on:
1. The functioning of FSC certification process carried out by certification Offices, as well as certification Office control process by ASI;
2. The role of the various organs involved in these processes, including the certification Bureau, ASI, FSC-International Center, certification Offices and concerned enterprises;
3. Other relevant issues relating to FSC certification in general and FSC certification in the Congo Basin in particular.
The meeting was marked by three presentations followed by a Q&A session, discussions and the closing session.
After recalling the objective of the meeting and expressing the wish for participants to actively involve in discussions, Elie Hakizumwami, the Regional Director of FSC Africa, made an introductory presentation on the history, the mission and the tools used for the implementation of FSC mission, decision-making in a consensual and a democratic manner, market mechanism, responsible forest management standards and policy, etc. He then reviewed the progress achieved in the framework of FSC certification in Africa, with special emphasis on the Congo Basin. He pointed out that the Congo Basin covers 32% of FSC certified tropical forests in the world, and over 70% FSC certified forests in Africa. He also recalled the role of the State and the private sector in certification. At world level, 54% of FSC certified forests belong to the State; however the private sector holds more than 50% of certificates due to the fact that some state forests are managed as concessions by private entities as it is the case in the Congo Basin. Elie also explained the role of FSC in the certification process.
The second presentation was made by Jervais NKOULOU, the coordinator of SmartWood, a certification entity of Rainforest Alliance for Africa. His exposé was on the forest certification process from beginning to the award of the certificate. He made a short introduction of his institution which has so far certified over 45 million hectares of forest over the world under FSC referential. It is thus the first FSC certification office in the world.
The third presentation was made by Etienne KOUZONG, Manager of ASI accreditation programme. He reviewed the primary mission of this institution. Mr Etienne KOUZONG informed participants that ASI accredits certification Offices for FSC forest management and traceability chain certification. This body also carries out audit missions on certification Offices compliance and examines disputes related to certificates. ASI does not accredit only for forest certification. It also operates in sea certification (MSC) and aquaculture certification (ASC) and the RSPO (Palm oil).
Available for download:
♦ Establishment of ASI, current functioning, context and status report of ASI audits in the sub-region by M. Etienne Kuzong, ASI Accreditation Program Manager for FSC.
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