07.12.2007 - Results of FSC special audit conducted by NEPCon/SmartWood 29.09

On 12-13 October NEPCon/SmartWood conducted an FSC special audit of the Riigimetsa Majandamise Keskus (RMK, State Forest Management Centre). The purpose of the audit was to evaluate the compliance of RMK’s forest management activities with the FSC certification criteria related to planning of felling and actual forest felling volumes. The audit was conducted by an auditor with long-term international experience Flemming Sehested from Denmark.

The need for a special audit emerged with the recently published audit report of the State Audit Office that contained problems with regard to RMK’s activities, part of which are related to the FSC forest management standard. The audit was based on SmartWood’s Interim Forest Management Standard in Estonia.

The main focus was on the standard criteria 5.6; 7.1; 8.2 and 8.4. The said standard is available on the NEPCon homepage (in the documents section).The auditor evaluated compliance with the valid FSC standard on the basis of the information provided by RMK during the audit and by taking into consideration the internationally implemented principles of FSC certification.

As a result of the audit, one minor corrective request was submitted to RMK that was related to the monitoring of actual felling volumes compared to planned and maximum permitted felling volumes. Although RMK has information about planned and actual felling volumes, the audit showed that RMK lacks a system for monitoring the compliance of actual felling volumes to planned felling volumes on the basis of objective documented proof. Therefore, it was not possible to evaluate during the audit, on the basis of documented information, that the felling volumes do not exceed sustainable levels.

In addition, the auditor made a suggestion regarding explaining to the public the methods of calculating felling volumes that are reported for the state statistics. The sales and the felling volumes of RMK are different, to some extent, due to differences in measuring methods.

A public summary of the extra audit report as well as summaries of earlier audit reports are available for download on the homepage of the SmartWood Program of the Rainforest Alliance, FSC accredited certifier:

Additional information:

Hando Hain
Manager of NEPCon OÜ
Tel: +372 5667 9888
E-mail: hh@nepcon.net