As soon as a concession holder is seriously interested in participating in the CBP, seven stages of collaboration can be distinguished as demonstrated in the figure below.
1. Letter of Intent
Once a company or community forester has expressed interest in participating in the Congo Basin Program, they can sign a letter of intent with the CBP. After a letter of intent has been signed, the CBP secretary has time to investigate whether the interested company has the right resources and commitment needed to complete the entire process and that there are no major illegalities or conflicts present concerning their forest management. For more detailed information, see the selection procedure.
2. Full partnership established
If both parties agree on cooperating in the CBP, this will lead to signing of a partnership agreement. In this agreement the details of the cooperation are included: objective(s), concession details (number of concessions, ha's).
3. Pre-audit done
The next step is that the concession holder will have a pre-audit performed to determine the current level vis-à-vis the certification standard. In addition, the CBP Secretariat will perform a Needs Analysis & Assessment (NAA) in order to have a clear overview what the major issues are to work on and what services could be usefull for the concession holder.
4. Action plan made
Based on the pre-audit and the NAA, the concession holder will have to prepare an action plan. This includes a planning of all activities that need to be done in order to become certified plus the services that are foreseen to be offtaken and co-funded by the CBP. If the action plan is sound and feasible, it will be approved by the Program Secretary and the concession holder is ready to start.
5. Service/ training offered
A total of eight services have been identified to support concession holders. For every service, a number of approved service providers are listed in the services catalogue. A concession holder is free to select the service provider with whom he wishes to cooperate. After a final offer is concluded between the concession holder and the service provider, the Program Secretary gives its approval and the service can be provided. In the services catalogue, more information can be found on the provision of services.
6. FSC certification
If everything has gone well, the concession holder will obtain an FSC certificate after the main audit. Or in the case of improvements of existing FSC certified concessions, an improvement will be measured (decrease in the number of CARs - Corrective Action Requests).
7. End of partnership
After all objectives as stated in the partnership agreement have been achieved, the partnership will end.