After a period when more than one third of the Polish state forest had lost their certified status, the FSC certified area in Poland is again increasing. The Polish regional state forest district directorate Olsztyn recently regained its FSC forest management certificate, based on third-party assessments carried out by NEPCon.
The Polish Regional State Forest Directorate (RSFD) Olsztyn managing 600,000 hectares has regained its FSC forest management certificate, while assessment is being conducted of Krakow Regional State Forest Directorate.
These might be the first steps towards normalising the situation regarding the Polish state forests, where 16 out of 17 regional directorates were FSC certified one year ago. Currently 5 regional directorates are not certified.
The certificate of Olsztyn Regional RSFD expired in May 2008. At the time, the directorate was under re-assessment by SGS Qualifor, but the certificate was not yet renewed when the SGS Qualifor program got suspended in Poland.
A new assessment leading up to re-certification took place in August and was conducted by NEPCon.
Based on the field assessment, NEPCon’s auditor team issued two major corrective action requests (CARs) regarding the use of prohibited chemicals and lack of procedure for identification of High Conservation Value Forests.
The Olsztyn RSFD management quickly addressed these non-conformances, and the directorate received its renewed certificate on the 12th of September. Six additional non-compliances were classified as minor and will have to be addressed within the coming year. Compliance will be verified during the next annual audit.
Importance of forests managed by Olsztyn RSFD
The Director of NEPCon in Poland, Andrzej Czech, notes that the overall performance level of the Olsztyn RSFD is high and that its management shows a collaborative spirit as well as clear commitment to the FSC principles.
For example, Olsztyn RSFD was among the three winners of the International Green Apple Environment Award for wetland and rare species protection this year.
The areas managed by the Olsztyn district are also important for recreation as they are located in Mazury, a very popular touristic region in Poland known as the land of a thousand lakes. The Mazury region is particularly famous among lovers of wildlife and water sports.
The production of raw material in Poland is important for the large number of FSC certified Polish wood industries. Most of the current buyers of wood from Olsztyn RSFD, such as the IKEA supplier Swedwood, require FSC certified supplies.
The certificate code of Olsztyn Regional State Forest Directorate is SW-FM/COC-003430. The certificate was issued by NEPCon’s FSC-accredited partner, the Rainforest Alliance.