By: The Working Forest Staff
After three years of rigorous consultation with industry, environment, and social stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples, the new National Risk Assessment aims to provide consistent and credible application of FSC’s Controlled Wood standards and policies to uphold Indigenous Peoples’ rights, protect species at risk such as woodland caribou as well as Intact Forest Landscapes.
“Along with the implementation of the new Forest management standard, the deployment of the new National Risk Assessment in Canada completes years of review of the normative framework for FSC in Canada. We are delighted to fully embrace this transition in order to stabilize the FSC requirements in Canada and to create a sustained market uptake going forward” said François Dufresne, president of FSC Canada.
FSC has over 50 million hectares in Canada and over 600 companies certified to FSC’s standards. It offers the world’s most respected and recognized standard for sustainable forest management. Although FSC is the fastest-growing forest certification system in the world, many forests still do not meet FSC’s standards for healthy forests and strong communities, which is where the need for Controlled Wood derives from.
National Risk Assessments assess risks associated with undesirable forestry activities on non-FSC certified lands, including illegal harvest, forest management that violates workers or Indigenous Peoples’ rights or threatens High Conservation Values, conversion of forest to non-forest uses, and use of genetically-modified trees. In the Canadian National Risk Assessment, the primary risks identified are related to Indigenous Peoples’ rights, critical habitat for species at risk (including woodland caribou), and Intact Forest Landscapes. The FSC Canada National Risk Assessment identifies measures for how companies can mitigate these risks.
The new FSC National Risk Assessment for Canada was approved on June 26, 2019, and must be phased in by Certificate Holders by December 26, 2019.