FSC general assembly tackles deforestation, climate change
Oct. 10, 2017 - With growing momentum and urgency behind calls for forest conservation, the diverse membership of the Forest Stewardship Council meets this week in its General Assembly taking place in Vancouver.
Founded in 1994 by forward-thinking NGOs and companies, the Forest Stewardship Council uses markets to stop deforestation and forest degradation. Today it is the world's most trusted forest certification system, safeguarding nearly 500 million acres of forestland, with 32,000 companies in 120 countries marketing FSC-certified products.
"We are seeing companies step up to help protect forests, even as we all use forest products every day," said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council US. "This momentum comes not a moment too soon, as climate change puts the need for forest conservation front and center," he added.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all transportation accounts for 14 percent of global carbon emissions, while experts estimate deforestation and forest degradation to contribute up to 15 percent. Healthy forests currently offer the best way to pull carbon out of the atmosphere. Recent research in the US Pacific Northwest finds FSC-certified forest management stores at least 45 percent more carbon than standard forestry.
In the past year, companies such as Apple, HP, International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, McDonald's, Patagonia, Procter & Gamble, Target, Staples, Walmart and Williams-Sonoma have taken steps to grow demand for products from responsibly managed forests. Many of these businesses use FSC in their consumer marketing, creating a virtuous cycle driving forest conservation.
While FSC is experiencing dramatic growth in certified pulp and paper products, there remains a great opportunity to further develop markets for solid wood products – including building materials and furniture. This is a top priority for FSC US.
The FSC General Assembly is being held in North America for the first time since its inaugural gathering in 1994. FSC is the only forest certification system led by an open, diverse membership, with the General Assembly its top decision-making body. Members include Greenpeace, Sierra Club, The Home Depot, The Nature Conservancy, The Walt Disney Company, and WWF.
The Forest Stewardship Council helps consumers and companies purchase products from responsibly managed forests. FSC conserves wildlife habitat, protects clean water and respects the rights of Native people and local communities on 170 million acres of forestland in the US and Canada. www.onesimpleaction.fsc.org.
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