Organic certifiers and inspectors can use this handbook to assess how organic operations are meeting the National Organic Program (NOP) requirements to “maintain or improve the natural resources of the operation,” and “conserve biodiversity.” It contains examples of positive compliance indicators, and negative red flags with implied opportunities for improvement.
The Guide clarifies the National Organic Program’s (NOP) new Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance (released January 2016), and increases organic farmers’ and certifiers’ understanding of the myriad of benefits provided by biodiversity conservation.
This report is based on a systematic review of a majority of US based certifiers’ OSPs. As a leading organization working on improving biodiversity conservation in organic agriculture, WFA can state that organic certifiers are moving in the right direction but, nearly two decades after the roll out of the NOP, most US certifiers are significantly deficient when it comes to addressing the intent and letter of the standards related to biodiversity.
This webinar includes examples that suggest compliance, and minor and major issues related to the Guidance. It also features Assistant Professor John Quinn. Organic producers will learn how to implement conservation practices, and certification personnel will become skilled on how to observe and verify organic operation’s biodiversity conservation practices.
The Preamble to the National Organic Program rule states "Compliance with the requirements to conserve biodiversity requires that a producer incorporate practices in his or her organic system plan that are beneficial to biodiversity on his or her operation." This document was created in 2009 to assist farmers and certifiers in assessing compliance. A quick one-page overview examines the most problematic biodiversity issues, while the rest of the document provides a slate of beneficial practices that comply with the rule.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Technical Service Providers can assist operators in meeting these NOP requirements. Specifically, NRCS' Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138 helps operators who are transitioning to organic production.
Webinar: Linking Biodiversity Requirements, Organic Systems, and NRCS Conservation Practice Standards
The NOP requires biodiversity conservation and the maintenance or improvement of soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. Conservation Practice Standards offered by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can assist operators in meeting these NOP requirements. In this webinar, conservation practice standards that improve soil and water resources, support beneficial organisms and natural functions, and protect and restore wildlife habitat are discussed. Also presented are real life examples of these practices used by an organic farmer on his operations.
International Organic Inspector’s Association (IOIA) and Wild Farm Alliance have pooled resources to work on the “Organic Biodiversity Conservation Education” project. We will specifically provide organic professional training on the natural resources and biodiversity standard. This educational endeavor is designed to make biodiversity conservation a foundational principal in organic agriculture inspections.