BURNS LAKE – The General Manager of Burns Lake Community Forest (BLCF), Frank Varga, announced today that the community forest is on the road to seeking Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification with Ecotrust Canada, a national non-profit organization.
Certification is a condition of the BLCF’s license with a target of March 2017. There are a number of certification systems in Canada, yet FSC certification has the most rigorous forest management standards in the world. The FSC Forest Management certification is a voluntary market-based system available to forestry organizations who want to demonstrate responsible forest management by having their planning and practices independently reviewed by third party auditors.
Varga said, “BLCF has made strong social, environmental, and economic commitments in our Management Plan to ensure a sustainable future. FSC certification helps us meet and verify those commitments.” Jean Pogge, President of Ecotrust Canada said her organization works “to equip communities with the tools they need to fully participate in the decisions that affect them. Here in Burns Lake, that means ensuring the community forest remains both a thriving ecosystem and a source of jobs and revenue for many generations to come.”
Market demand for FSC wood is growing, and in Canada, all of the major banks print on FSC-certified paper. Companies like IKEA are aiming to source 100% of their wood, paper, and cardboard from FSC or recycled sources. “For BLCF, FSC certification benefits range from improved revenue and market opportunities to improved community relations. FSC supports developing and strengthening our relationships with our First Nation communities, and to setting a strong governance system and policies for BLCF,” Varga emphasized.
BLCF will receive funding from NDIT’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate for up to 50% of the cost of certification.
“We are working to set the Community Forest on a path of success after the beetle epidemic. FSC certification is an important tool to pursue to achieve our objectives.”
For more information, contact:
Frank Varga, RPF