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Side event: Tuesday 4 p.m. – International Generic Indicators (IGIs) and Transfer Process
Quizzes and exercises dominated IGI session
Morten Brodde (Advisor and Project Manager) · FSC Denmark

Today’s side event on the International Generic Indicators (IGIs) started rather differently from most other sessions so far at this year’s FSC General Assembly; it began with a quiz that was followed up by several exercises for the attendees.

zoomOver 50 people attended the IGI session that was intended to make participants more confident and informed on how to continue the important standard transfer processes in their own countries. The attendees – including certification bodies (CBs), network partners and members – were initially quizzed with questions about the IGIs, such as “what are the features of a good indicator?” and “what’s the purpose of the IGIs?”, and then the answers were presented.

“Will they ever be ready?”

The attendees were also given an exercise. They were told to write down what they wanted to know about the IGIs and the transfer process. Questions like “When will the IGIs be ready for use by standard development groups (SDGs)?”, “Will they ever be ready?” and “Why IGIs?” were among those raised. Some of the questions were answered directly by the panelists at the session.

“The simple answer is that FSC products are traded on a global market. We have to make sure that FSC standards in different parts of the world are reasonably consistent,” said Robert Hrubes, IGI Technical Expert and CB Representative, explaining the reason for having the IGIs.

All the questions that came out of the group exercises will now be categorized and put into a question-and-answer document that will be published.

From 342 to 200 indicators

Rosario Galán, IGI Project Coordinator from FSC International, presented facts about the process of developing the IGIs, including the results of the public consultations.

“In the end we came up with 200 indicators, which is a large reduction compared to the first draft that contained 342 indicators. This was a result of the stakeholder feedback. There are also more generic indicators and all normative elements are in each criterion,” she said, and continued:

“There will be an extraordinary stakeholder review of the final IGIs at the end of 2014 (not the same as a consultation) to give SDGs a chance to see the final IGIs before going to the Board for approval in March 2015.”

During the session, it became clear that many attendees would like to see the proposed transfer deadline of November/December 2015 for National Standards extended. “It is not about what we would like, about feelings, it is about what is possible,” said Dr. Uwe Sayer, FSC Germany Executive Director. In relation to this, other attendees proposed that FSC International should gather feedback from national SDGs on what would be the most appropriate deadline. An IGI network working group to provide feedback to FSC was also proposed.