TimberWest partners with First Nations on forest management pilot

P&PC Staff
September 18, 2018
By P&PC Staff
September 17, 2018 – TimberWest has entered into a partnership with K’ómoks First Nation, Qualicum First Nation, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to pilot a management certification for small-scale forests.

The SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples, Families, and Communities will 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,” says 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,” says 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,” says 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.”

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