This national forest certification scheme provides voluntary third-party certification aimed at promoting sustainable forest management and agroforestry in the country. The scheme consists of forest management certification, tree outside forest management certification, and chain of custody certification.
The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme can offer market incentives to various entities that use responsible forest management and agroforestry practices in their operations. This includes state forest departments, individual farmers, or farmer producer organizations that engage in agroforestry and farm forestry, as well as other wood-based industries along the value chain.
The Forest Management certification is based on the Indian Forest Management Standard, which consists of 8 criteria, 69 indicators, and 254 verifiers and is an essential component of the National Working Plan Code 2023, which was released this year. The recently launched Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme now includes a separate Trees Outside Forests Standard.
The Indian Forest and Wood Certification Council will oversee the scheme and serve as a multistakeholder advisory body. Members of eminent institutions such as the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, the Forest Survey of India, the Quality Council of India, and the Indian Institute of Forest Management serve on the Council, as do representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, state forest departments, forest development corporations, and wood-based industries.
The Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, will serve as the scheme’s operating agency, overseeing the overall management of the Indian Forest and Wood Certification Scheme.
The National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, which is part of the Quality Council of India, will accredit the certification bodies, which will conduct independent audits and assess compliance with the scheme’s standards.