SBP has published the updated Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) for Lithuania. RRAs are a key part of SBP’s focus on identifying and mitigating any risks associated with sourcing feedstock for woody biomass pellet and chip production.
In accordance with the SBP RRA Procedure, SBP-endorsed RRAs remain valid for a period of five years from the approval date. The RRA for Lithuania was first published on 15 June 2016 and consequently its validity expired on 14 June 2021.
The Standards Development Process currently underway is reviewing each of the SBP Standards. Standard 1 is the foundation of the SBP RRAs and any revisions to that Standard will trigger the need to update all existing SBP-endorsed RRAs.
Following publication of the revised Standards, scheduled for the end of 2021, there will be a transition period allowing time for Certificate Holders to comply with the revised requirements. From the end of that transition period it will be mandatory for all Certificate Holders to comply with the revised requirements. The RRAs will require updating in line with the revised Standards and that will be undertaken in a timely fashion within the same transition period, such that complying with the requirements of the updated RRAs will also be mandatory from the end of the transition period.
In the light of the Standards Development Process it was proposed to extend the validity of the RRA for Lithuania to coincide with the end of the transition period for the revised SBP Standards (v2.0). SBP consulted Preferred by Nature (formerly NEPCon), the Working Body responsible for developing the original RRA for Lithuania, on the proposal to extend its validity. On the basis that there have been no major changes in relevant legislation and/or forestry practices, and that there is no additional information to suggest otherwise, Preferred by Nature has recommended that no changes are made to the risk designations of the original RRA. It was, therefore, proposed to extend the validity of the RRA without further revision.
In early 2021, SBP sought stakeholder feedback on the proposal. Extension of the validity was subsequently recommended by the SBP Technical Committee and formally approved by the SBP Chief Executive Officer. A response to consultation has been published alongside the updated RRA; both documents may be viewed at: https://sbp-cert.org/documents/standards-documents/risk-assessments/lithuania/.