TimberWest, SFI, CCAB partner on First Nation forest management
K’ómoks First Nation, Qualicum First Nation, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and TimberWest announcing the pilot SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples, Families, and Communities. Photo supplied
Sept. 18, 2018 - K’ómoks First Nation, in partnership with Qualicum First Nation, welcomed TimberWest, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) to the K’ómoks First Nation Band Office to announce that they will pilot the SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples, Families, and Communities. This is to be implemented on Rosewall Forest Tenure Holdings Ltd, the jointly managed working forest of K’ómoks First Nation and Qualicum First Nation.
“K’ómoks has been actively managing its forests for a number of years, and we have recently started working with TimberWest on market access and other sustainability initiatives through our Memorandum of Understanding,” said Nicole Rempel, Chief of the K’ómoks First Nation. “When SFI approached us to consider this small-scale forest management certification, we knew it was something we wanted to implement, and we knew TimberWest could lend their expertise. Obtaining SFI certification is a good long-term decision for the benefit of our community and the future generations that will be managing the forests in the years to come.”
The SFI module is designed to reach smaller communities and elevate the benefits of well-managed forests through collaboration and conservation. The module includes measures to broaden practices to address the conservation of biodiversity, the use of forestry best management practices to protect water quality, soil productivity and reforestation, and the use of forest management and harvesting professionals. SFI is actively looking to engage with First Nations, woodlot owners or community forests interested in learning more about this innovative approach to third-party certification of small-scale forests.
“We have worked in close collaboration with the K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations on business and educational opportunities for many years,” said Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “The SFI pilot project is an important step forward in further improving outcomes on the forest land base and opening up greater market opportunities for their wood. We are pleased to share our expertise on forest certification, and provide support on the required auditing processes applicable to the environmental, social and economic values underlying SFI certification.”
“The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business believes in strengthening aboriginal communities and promoting prosperous relationships based on mutual respect.” said JP Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “We are so happy to see TimberWest, a PAR certified company, come together with another one of our partners, SFI, and K’ómoks First Nation and Qualicum First Nation to add all of our strengths, and see the benefits not only for the community’s socio-economics but also for the environment.”
“I would like to thank K’ómoks First Nation and Qualicum First Nation for their leadership and commitment to managing forests sustainably,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. “SFI is committed to building relationships with Indigenous communities. We are so pleased to have signed an MOU with the CCAB to promote the Progressive Aboriginal Relations program (PAR) to SFI Program Participants. We are therefore thrilled that TimberWest, the first company to achieve certification on private lands in Canada, and also the first SFI Program Participant to achieve bronze certification with PAR, is supporting the first pilot effort on Indigenous Lands for the SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module.”
The SFI Forest Partners Program provides financial support to grow certification across the supply chain. The partners include Meredith, the National Geographic Society, Macmillan Publishers, Pearson, and Hearst Enterprises.
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