New version of UKWAS launched with a focus on clarity
The UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) has undergone a comprehensive review and a new version, UKWAS 4, has been launched.
Speaking at the UKWAS partnership’s Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh, Richard Howe – who chairs the partnership said: ‘Our main achievement this year has been to finish work on UKWAS version 4. This represents the most comprehensive revision of the UK certification standard since its 1999 launch.
With the user in mind, the main change has been to introduce a more logical approach involving the rationalisation and reordering of sections and in providing greater clarity on the status of requirements, verifiers and guidance.
New requirements have been introduced in some areas and amendments have been made in relation to ‘High Conservation Value’ woods and the resolution of disputes. Otherwise changes are limited to providing greater clarity and updating operational practice’
He also announced that a new and much enhanced UKWAS website has been launched to coincide with the new version of UKWAS.
Mr Howe emphasised: ‘UKWAS remains unique in being the only national standard anywhere in the world to meet the requirements of both the FSC® and PEFC™ certification schemes. This allows UK woodland owners and producers to meet market demand for either FSC or PEFC-certified products with the minimum of expense and duplication.’
He concluded by thanking all those who had contributed to the revision process and praising the cooperative spirit that characterises the UKWAS partnership. He expressed confidence that the pragmatic way in which the UK accommodates independent certification will continue.
Notes to Editors:
- The UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) was developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership with the first edition launched in 1999. The certification standard provides the basis for certification to both the main global forest certification schemes – the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
- Following a transition period, existing certificate holders are required to conform to the revised standard known as UKWAS 4 by 31 March 2019.
- For further information and a copy of the new UKWAS 4 – see ukwas.org.uk.