Family Forest Certification Moves Forward

04/16/2008
 

FSC-US and FSC Family Forests Alliance Announce Next Steps in Standards Development Process

 

Minneapolis, MN (4/16/08) - Forest product and forestland certification are rapidly gaining recognition in the marketplace as vehicles for rewarding responsible forest management practices. More than 250 million acres of forests are certified around the world under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. Despite the growth in forest certification, it is often difficult for small ownerships and family forests to participate.

 

 

“Family forests are an important part of the landscape and provide critically important ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water quality protection, and wildlife habitat,” says Corey Brinkema, President of FSC-US.

 

 

At meetings held in Minneapolis on April 7th and 8th, the FSC-US undertook the next steps for expanding family forest certification opportunities in the United States.

 

 

“In the U.S. almost 60% of the forests are privately owned and it is important to include these lands in forest stewardship efforts,” says Kathryn Fernholz, Executive Director of Dovetail Partners and Secretariat for the FSC Family Forests Alliance, a collaborative group that is advocating for expanded access to FSC certification opportunities for small privately owned forests.

 

 

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the fastest growing global forest certification program and is endorsed by the world's leading environmental and social non-governmental organizations. In the U.S, the FSC has developed a Family Forests Program to ensure small landowners will be able to receive the benefits of FSC certification and sell their products under the FSC label.

 

 

“Our Family Forests Working Group was brought together to complete a process of reviewing the existing FSC certification standards and to offer recommendations on how to more effectively engage small landowners,” says Brinkema.

 

 

The FSC-US's Family Forests Working Group includes representatives from the FSC Family Forests Alliance and other stakeholders.

 

 

“My hope, and the hope of other Working Group members, is to use our many years of experience working with family forest certification, and the lessons we've learned to help make the program work better for everyone while still maintaining the high standards that are expected of FSC certification,” says John Gunn of the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands, an Alliance core organizer.

 

 

Additional meetings of the working group are planned in May 2008, and a public review and comment period will be announced later this summer. The full standards review and approval process is anticipated to be completed before the end of the year.

 


For more information:

http://www.familyforestsalliance.org