As part of the LIFE C-FARMs project, the PEFC Italia partner is studying the creation of a Standard to certify the carbon stock deriving from sustainable agronomic practices.
Here is our interview with the experts who are working on this activity.
Who are you and what role do you play within your organization?
PEFC is an international regulatory organization which has been dealing with the sustainable management of forests and plantations for 22 years. Our aim, in Italy as in the world, is to provide tools for the protection of Forest Heritage through our standards of sustainable forest management, protection of ecosystem services (carbon, biodiversity and tourism) and traceability of forest-based material along the production chains up to the consumer.
What activities do you carry out in your daily work?
Our work as a regulatory body is divided into various activities, although our main objective is to promote the correct management of the forest heritage, the protection and enhancement of their ecosystem services and the traceability and legality of the supply chains that originate from it, through the certification tool. In this period, much of our strength is dedicated to the five-year review of our national standards for sustainable management of forests, plantations and the creation of two new standards: urban greenery and agroforestry, as well as the creation of standards related to the quantification of ecosystem services. We are then available for clarifications on our rules both for the management of areas and for traceability. PEFC is also a partner in several projects at both a regional, national and international level.
How is going the implementation of the regulatory framework for certification of Carbon Farming practices?
The creation of a certification standard for Carbon farming is an extremely complex activity which requires the collaboration of partners with different professional expertise and skills. At the moment we have started the various tasks necessary for its development, defining the responsibilities of the various partners. A very tight schedule has also been defined which will allow us to obtain the definitive version of the standard by the beginning of April, also considering the crucial activities of stakeholder engagement and public consultation of the work carried out within the project
Are there any critical issues that you have registered so far in this work?
The greatest difficulty derives from the fact that at the moment there is no national or international regulation that provides specific guidelines for the payment of Carbon-Farming activities; the CAP, for example, considers only a part of it. We are therefore looking for the best way to provide an innovative tool that does not deviate too much from what appear to be the guidelines of the European Community in this regard.
Has the stakeholder mapping phase started?
The stakeholder analysis is almost complete, we produced a first list classifying the groups according to Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment. This list has been sent to all partners for their review and integration. By mid-December letters of engagement will be sent to each stakeholder identified for the review of the standard which should take place at the end of january.
What are the next steps for this activity?
Once the standard has been reviewed and modified thanks to the contribution of stakeholders, a month-long public consultation forum will open, which will allow anyone interested in the topic to express their opinion on the matter. At the end of this period, following further modification according to the suggestions of the forum, the standard is considered completed. In support of this activity there will be other activities that will see the interaction with ISPRA (Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) to propose a useful data collection tool also useful for integrating the data of the national GHG inventory and with the Lombardy Region to propose our product as a possible integration of the future CAP 2028 programming.