FSC Canada responds to article on certification trends and turbulence
February 25, 2016 - FSC Canada has sent Canadian Forest Industries a letter in response to the magazine’s recently published article, “Forest certification in Canada: Trends and turbulence.”
Here is a copy of FSC Canada’s letter:
In reaction to the referred article above published in The Canadian Forest Industries on February 22, 2016, I would like to take this opportunity to respectfully offer FSC Canada’s perspective on several issues reported in it.
At the outset, I would like to clarify FSC’s sensitivity to the importance of adequate access to the wood supply, essential to assure long-term sustainability and viable economic conditions for the forest industry. We have a common preoccupation in maintaining viable communities and jobs dependent of, and central to the Canadian forest industry. FSC certification exists in order to produce forest products in a responsible manner. If this were not the case, there would be no certification and the objectives would never be met.
For more than 20 years, FSC has built an international standard of voluntary certification, providing credible and globally renowned forest certification in Canada and worldwide. FSC is a democratic consensus within civil society between the industrial sector, consumers, unions, local communities, aboriginal communities and environmental groups.
The article reflects at length on the Resolution 65 adopted by the vast majority of members of FSC International on Intact Forest Landscapes, especially relating to its impact on the safeguard of the wood supply to the Canadian forest industry. FSC has no intent to overstep any government regulation authority. We do not develop caribou recovery plans or design systems of protected areas, all we do is to set the standards for voluntarily certified forests in Canada and elsewhere. Furthermore, it is
important to understand that there is certainly no immediate threat in the application of Resolution 65 on Intact Forest Landscapes in Canada. Since last year, FSC Canada has put in place and started applying a robust process in order to establish pragmatic and well-balanced solutions to the application of this resolution in Canada, from coast to coast.
It is true that there has been a decrease in FSC certification in Canada over the last two years due to suspensions related mainly to lack of aboriginal consent and protection of woodlands caribou habitats. However, it also demonstrates the rigour that the market place requires from a responsible certification scheme. FSC enjoys close to 5 000 chain of custody certificates in North America, representing roughly 10 times the number of certificates from other certifications combined. Clearly, it demonstrates the market recognition that FSC enjoys, not only in North America, but also around the world.
In the context of the consultation on the first draft of its new forest management National standard, FSC Canada had the opportunity to meet with all key stakeholders across the country, including governments. The response was unanimous to find constructive solutions to ensure a smooth implementation of new FSC standard, particularly in the province of Quebec.
With 54 millions hectares of its forest territory under certification, Canada demonstrates its ability to meet the FSC standard. We remain convinced that FSC is an essential asset for the forest industry in Canada. It displays credibility via an independent third-party in order to access a continually demanding and challenging market. It is becoming increasingly difficult to set the industry apart from the international competition, and FSC certification offers an essential competitive advantage.
FSC is part of the solution for the future of the forest industry in Canada, to ensure sustainable jobs in the long term.
President & CEO
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