Slovakia is one of our main wood sourcing countries in Europe and it is also home to one of our pulp and paper mills. Two-thirds of Slovakian forests are certified, with the national forest certification system endorsed and certified by PEFC. Still, there are many suppliers that are not certified – mostly smallholders and municipal forests. Although forest ownership and supply chains in Slovakia are relatively complex and the accuracy of the current Centralized National Risk Assessment (CNRA) has been questioned, many specified risks are considered by foresters as being minor and occasional in Slovakia. This has led to frustration and uncertainty among forest companies on how to implement appropriate practical control measures.
In 2018, we initiated a ‘Joint Control Measures’ pilot project to identify practical solutions and control measures to manage the risks in wood supply chains in Slovakia. The project required that local stakeholders work together to develop practical solutions. This has led to increased dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in Slovakia to work on the development of appropriate control measures and may lead to establishment of a multi-stakeholder working group to develop a comprehensive and thorough National Risk Assessment (NRA).
Until development of the NRA, there is still a clear need to have a functional CW system in place. Mondi is one of two companies with operations in Slovakia that is actively working with FSC™ to implement CW requirements based on the existing CNRA. Together with FSC™, we have reviewed our approach to mitigate risks. This work served as the basis for a calibration workshop in 2018 between FSC™, ASI and certification bodies, the outcomes of which are supporting implementation of CW in Slovakia and other countries in central Europe. The outcomes may also support the development of the NRA.
As a result of this work, Mondi’s wood supply organisation in Slovakia successfully passed the surveillance audit. We will remain fully engaged in the process to ensure continued improvement of the CW system in Slovakia and in central Europe.