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Sustainable Forestry Initiative works to improve forestry standard

January 7, 2014, Ottawa, Ont. – In one of the most expansive and inclusive processes to seek input from a resource sector, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) has invited nearly 10,000 stakeholders to submit comments on the draft SFI 2015-2019 Standard in its second 60-day public comment period. This open and public comment period runs from January 6 – March 6, 2014 and provides a transparent opportunity for anybody interested in the future of our forests to provide comment. The draft SFI 2015-2019 Standard includes new performance measures to conserve biodiversity in fiber sourcing; limit conversion of one forest type to another; and expand the definition of "controversial sources," which are not allowed in SFI-labeled products.

"The SFI Standard revision process is conducted in cooperation with a broad range of stakeholders who care about the future of our forests, including public and private landowners, forest sector representatives, indigenous communities, conservation groups, industry, academia and government officials," said Kathy Abusow, SFI President & CEO. "We look forward to hearing from the people and organizations who count on the SFI Standard as a proof point for responsible forestry in communities across North America. While we have reached out to 10,000 organizations and individuals at this time, anybody that is interested in providing comment is welcome to do so."

Under the direction of the SFI Resources Committee and utilizing comments from the first public comment period which ran from June 5-August 6, 2013, the SFI 2015-2019 Standard Revision Task Groups developed this working draft. Interested individuals and organizations can submit comments online for this working draft of the SFI 2015-2019 standard and participate in person at one of the nine public Standards Review workshops across the U.S. and Canada. A facilitated webinar workshop is also offered to accommodate those unable to attend a regional workshop.

As a proof point for responsible forestry and future forests, the transparent process of revising the SFI Program is overseen by the SFI Board of Directors and the SFI Resources Committee, both with equal representation from the environmental, social and economic sectors. A final draft of the SFI 2015-2019 Standard will be presented to the SFI Board of Directors for their approval in the fall of 2014, and will come into effect January 1, 2015.

SFI's External Review Panel, an independent panel drawn from academia, state and federal agencies and conservation organizations, ensures the revision of the SFI Standard embodies an open, fair and inclusive process that addresses all comments submitted. All comments and how they are addressed will be posted on the SFI website.

To view a summary of the major enhancements and the draft sections to the Draft SFI 2015-2019 Requirements; find information on the workshops that anybody can participate in; and to submit comments on the Draft SFI 2015-2019 Standard, go to http://www.sfiprogram.org/comment-on-standard/.

January 8, 2014  By  Andrew Macklin

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