By: The Working Forest Staff
Montreal, QC – After six years of rigorous consultation with industry, environment, and social stakeholders and indigenous groups, the new standard targets the most pressing issues threatening Canadian forests today, including the woodland caribou crisis, the rights of indigenous peoples, workers’ rights including gender equity, conservation, and landscape management.
“We are facing some of the most important issues in Canadian forest management history,” said Francois Dufresne, president, FSC Canada. “It was important for FSC to equally involve a diverse group of experts and interests to establish a new national framework that can be adopted across the entire forest industry.”
FSC has certified 200 million hectares globally, with over 50 million hectares in Canada. It offers the world’s most respected and recognized standard for sustainable forest management, in part because it solicits and equally balances input from a diverse membership to achieve solutions to complex challenges, including recognition of Indigenous rights, along with the balance of conservation and economic opportunity. FSC’s member groups and organizations include Kimberly-Clark, Rayonier Advanced Materials, Rainforest Alliance, Wolf Lake First Nation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, UBC, Greenpeace Canada, and many others.
The updated standard consolidates FSC’s existing, four regional standards into one national standard that has been amended to strengthen Canadian forests and the people, flora, and fauna that depend on them. The recommendations range from physical solutions – such as buffer zones around waterways to keep streams and rivers clean — to ones that thread our social fabric, such as indigenous involvement in forestry planning and gender equity throughout the industry.
“It is with heightened optimism that the NEW – FSC National Standard will receive strong uptake and utility by all four chambers. FSC runs on principles of being solutions oriented, fair and transparent in the bar it sets for Sustainable Forest Management. We anticipate positive user feedback and strengthened market uptake as all forest-dependent peoples can be shown as considered and cared for,” said David Flood, Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc.
“These efforts enable our company to continue applying a consistent set of standards across our management units and promotes and facilitates an opportunity for proactive collaboration,” said Dr. Elston Dzus, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
“The accreditation of the revised FSC standards is great news for local jobs and the health of forests. We proudly support FSC and encourage all forest management companies to adopt the values that the Council represents,” said Cameron Shiell, Private and Public Workers of Canada.