What is the General Assembly?
Held every three years, FSC’s General Assembly brings together many hundreds of leaders and decision-makers from Indigenous Peoples, environmentalists, businesses, and many others that make up FSC’s membership. The purpose is to discuss a responsible future for the world’s forests, and the people and animals who inhabit them.
When does it take place?
The General Assembly typically takes place every three years. However, for this upcoming assembly, it has been postponed from the original date in 2020. It will now be split into two parts: a virtual assembly in 2021 and an in- person assembly in 2022 (or as soon as possible after this) in Bali, Indonesia.
Why should I attend the General Assembly?
The General Assembly is FSC’s highest decision-making body – meaning that key decisions related to the organization are made here. Attending the assembly gives members an opportunity to participate in this decision-making process as well as meeting hundreds of leaders and decision-makers from around the world.
Who attends the General Assembly?
All international members from the three chambers (social, environmental, and economic), FSC Staff and stakeholders. So, the GA is an assembly of companies, environmental organizations, civil society groups and individuals that come together with the full decision-making power of the FSC membership.
Will there be simultaneous translation?
Yes, all events will have simultaneous translation into English/Spanish/French. This includes during the members assembly and high-level conference sessions, as well as during chamber and cross-chamber meetings.
Who can register?
FSC international members, FSC global staff, certificate holders, and other stakeholders.
When will registration begin? When will it close?
- Registration for the virtual assembly taking place on 25–29 October 2021 will begin two weeks prior, and will remain open until 29 October.
- Registration for the in-person assembly 2022 will be announced later.
Do I need to register twice (once for the virtual assembly in 2021 and again for the in-person assembly in 2022)?
Yes, you will need to register separately for both events.
Is there a cost to participate?
The registration for the virtual assembly taking place 25–29 October 2021 will be free of charge.
The registration fee for the in-person assembly in 2022 will be announced later.
Registration fees help cover the cost of hosting the event, including:
- lunch and coffee breaks for the duration of the in-person FSC General Assembly 2022
- welcome and closing dinners
- conference rooms
- interpretation in Spanish and English (official FSC languages) during the Forest
- Conference and the assembly formal business sessions (plenary sessions)
- all materials.
The registration fee does not cover hotel costs.
What if I cannot attend the General Assembly?
You can ask an international FSC member to be your proxy, and they will be able to vote on your behalf. An international member can be a proxy for up to five organizational members and unlimited individual members. View a full list of FSC international members here.
About the Members Assembly
How will the 2021–2022 General Assembly work?
Part 1: Virtual Assembly
Throughout 2021, FSC will continue to host online motion discussions and will come together virtually in October to make decisions on statutory motions and a few prioritized policy motions (if so desired by their proposers). The process will be designed as follows:
Members will be sent an electronic ballot to vote on:
• approval of the financial report from the Treasurer of the FSC Board of
• approval of the membership list
• removal of members whose membership has lapsed.
25–29 October 2021 – a virtual event to conduct the following business:
• discussion and voting on statutory motions and a few policy motions,
prioritized by the members
• chamber and cross-chamber meetings to discuss motions and high-priority issues
• business report by the FSC International Board of Directors
• business report by the FSC Director General
• report on the motions adopted at the 2017 FSC General Assembly.
Part 2: In-person Assembly
The second part of the General Assembly will include discussion and voting on the remaining motions, as well as an engaging conference featuring inspiring speakers and breakout sessions. Please note that the second part of the General Assembly will take place in person in 2022 in Bali, Indonesia only if it is safe, equitable, and logistically possible for FSC’s membership to come together at a physical meeting. If this is not feasible, the in-person assembly will take place as soon as possible after this.
2022 (or as soon as possible after this) Bali, Indonesia will include:
• discussion and voting on remaining motions.
• full conference featuring inspiring speakers and breakout sessions.
With this plan for the 2021/22 General Assembly, we are committed to working diligently to provide our members with an engaging and inspirational event. We will continue to strive towards keeping our Forests For All Forever.
What is the cut-off date for new membership applications to be approved, to be entitled to participate in the upcoming General Assembly?
The last day to approve membership applications is 15 August for the 2021 General Assembly.
Will members need specific technology to participate either before or during the virtual General Assembly? Is there any support for members that are not familiar with online tools?
To participate in the preparation and at the virtual General Assembly, members need to have online access (if this is not possible members can delegate this to a proxy). We will be using a new platform for the General Assembly, but this will not require members to obtain new technology. We will offer online support to members to get to know the online tools to make their participation easier.
What is the significance of motions at the General Assembly?
The General Assembly is FSC’s highest decision-making body – meaning that key decisions related to the organization are made here. Motions are proposals that members have put forward to make a change within the organization. These are discussed and debated with the global membership before being voted on at the assembly.
How many motions have been submitted?
Sixty-three motions have been submitted following discussion and consultation between members. These have been reviewed for acceptance by the motions committee.
Where can I view a list of the motions?
No, we have already had two motion windows open, and we are not planning another one for the General Assembly 2021–2022. You can submit a new motion at the in-person General Assembly in 2022 but it will not be prioritized, and will only be dealt with when all other motions have been voted on.
Is there simultaneous translation during the General Assembly and preparation events?
Yes, all global events will have simultaneous translation into English/Spanish/French. This includes during the members assembly and high-level conference sessions as well as during cross-chamber meetings.
How will the prioritization of motions work?
In 2021, two prioritization exercises will take place.
1. Discussion prioritization: A survey to prioritize policy motion discussions submitted and accepted by the motions committee in 2020 and April 2021. The results are being used to schedule motion discussions.
2. Voting prioritization: A survey to prioritize the voting sequence of policy motions submitted to and accepted by the motions committee in 2020 and 2021 (late June to early July). In this survey, members will be able to decide which motions they want to be voted on first during the assembly.
Which items will be addressed through an electronic vote in August/September?
An electronic ballot will be launched on 25 August to vote on the statutory requirements, including:
- approval of the financial report by the Treasurer of the FSC Board of Directors
- approval of the membership list
- removal of those whose membership has lapsed ü approval of Rules of Procedure for the General Assembly.
The electronic ballot will open on 25 August and close on 30 September 2021 (if a quorum is not achieved, the period to vote will be extended.)
How will FSC decide which motions are addressed in 2021 and which ones will be addressed in 2022?
The proposer of a motion may decide whether they wish their motion to be prioritized for voting in 2021 or 2022. In doing so, they may take into account strategic aspects (urgency or time to reach consensus).
Can I propose a new motion at the General Assembly?
You can submit a new motion at the in-person assembly in 2022 but it will not be prioritized, and will only be dealt with when all other motions have been voted on.
Can we amend motions during the assembly?
You cannot make amendments to a motion from the floor during the debates. The amendments need to be submitted by the proposer in advance, supported by two seconders.
Who can vote?
Only FSC international members of good standing will be allowed to vote (members of good standing are those that have paid their membership payments in full prior to the General Assembly). If you are not, you can still observe the proceedings without voting.
Where do I go to vote? And when does voting begin?
Voting on statutory requirements will be done by electronic ballot from 25 August to 30 September 2021. FSC international members will be sent an email invitation to vote, along with voting instructions. The same process will apply for the virtual General Assembly on 25–29 October 2021, and the electronic ballot to vote on statutory and policy motions will be open from 25 October to 30 November 2021.
How do I vote for a motion?
FSC international members will receive an invitation to vote electronically for the motions debated and opened for a vote during the virtual assembly in October 2021. The electronic ballot form will have the number and title of the motion as well as your membership details. You will be asked to tick a box to indicate whether your vote is ‘for’, ‘against’, or ‘abstention’ and then you click the button ‘SUBMIT’ to send your vote. If you are a proxy holder, the same process will apply.
2022 General Assembly
Are there concerns regarding the number of members and other participants that can attend the 2022 in-person General Assembly?
The second part of the General Assembly will take place in person in 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, only if it is safe, equitable, and logistically possible for FSC’s membership to come together at a physical meeting. If this is not possible, the in-person assembly will take place as soon as it becomes possible after this.
Will the 2022 in-person General Assembly have virtual participation? (e.g. online voting)
During an in-person assembly, members can vote either in person or by selecting a proxy to submit on their behalf. At this time, there are no plans to have virtual/online voting for the 2022 General Assembly.
Will there be live videos of the discussion during the in-person assembly that we could broadcast in our countries?
Yes, we will live-stream some sessions. The members assembly (where voting takes place) will be live-streamed and will be restricted to members only.
In 2022, will there be motion discussions and voting processes?
Yes, the motions not voted on in 2021 will be passed on to 2022.