NOSB protects native ecosystems!
WFA and partners successfully encouraged the NOSB to recommend to the NOP to create a new rule that protects Native Ecosystems at their April 2018 meeting:
Recommended Addition to §205.2 Definitions
Native Ecosystems: Native ecosystems can be recognized in the field as retaining both dominant and characteristic plant species as described by established classifications of natural vegetation. These will tend to be on lands that have not been previously cultivated, cleared, drained or otherwise irrevocably altered. However, they could include areas that have recovered expected plant species composition and structure.
Recommended Addition to §205.200 General
- A site supporting a native ecosystem cannot be certified for organic production as provided for under this regulation for a period of 10 years from the date of conversion.
Prior to the NOSB recommendation, we worked closely with NatureServe, an NGO built by The Nature Conservancy that provides the scientific information and tools needed for effective conservation action. Because many of the larger organic advocacy organizations looked to us for messaging and advice, we published two Issue Briefs describing our concerns, arguments and actions supporters could take to move this issue forward. We and our partners generated more than 500 public comments for the April 2018 meeting, and submitted our own written comments with 33 endorsing organizations.
We continued to assist organic certifiers with updating their organic system plans. We assisted certifiers who collectively inspect more than 75% (20,000) US organic farmers.