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Forestry Commission

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the Forestry Commission's forest and woodlands are certified to FSC equivalent standards; and how much (a) money and (b) time has been spent by her Department on developing and implementing a United Kingdom woodland assurance standard that is equivalent to the FSC. [107244]

Following an in-depth independent audit lasting several months, all 800,000 hectares of the forest and woodland area managed by the Forestry Commission were certified in 1999 in accordance with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard. The work to develop the Standard, which meets the criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council, was facilitated by the Commission over a period of 11 months, at a staff and overhead cost to the Commission of some £130,000. The audit work cost £145,000.