FSC Canada introduces new standard to support small-scale, low-intensity and community forests
September 26, 2023 By P&PC Staff
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Canada launched its new Small-scale, Low-Intensity and Community Forests Standard (SLIMF + Community Forests Standard). According to the organization, this standard is tailored to meet the unique needs of smallholders which may include private forest owners, community forests, Indigenous forest license holders and municipalities.
It features fewer requirements and complexities compared to FSC Canada’s National Forest Stewardship Standard while still maintaining FSC’s rigorous environmental and social standards.
“The SLIMF + Community Forests Standard represents a significant step forward in FSC Canada’s commitment to fostering sustainable forestry practices and empowering communities” says Francois Dufresne, FSC Canada president. “These forested areas play a vital role in Canada’s overall forest ecosystem. FSC is proud to have designed this new Standard in recognition of the unique needs of these groups.”
Effective from January 1, 2024, the SLIMF + Community Forests Standard reflects FSC Canada’s commitment to inclusivity, sustainability, and community engagement.
Key highlights include:
- Less burden, more benefits: By simplifying requirements, FSC Canada is reportedly making it easier for small, low-intensity managed forests and community forests to achieve FSC certification. This will reduce costs and administrative complexities, allowing these groups to focus on sustainable practices and community development.
- Gender equality: The standard places a strong emphasis on gender equality, promoting fair opportunities for all individuals in the forest and community management process.
- Indigenous peoples’ rights: FSC Canada is committed to upholding Indigenous Peoples’ rights and recognizing their invaluable role in forest management. The SLIMF + Community Forests Standard incorporates Indigenous perspectives and respects traditional knowledge.
- Conservation area networks: FSC Canada prioritizes the creation and maintenance of Conservation Area Networks to protect biodiversity and ensure the long-term health of our ecosystems.
- High Conservation Value Assessment: This standard includes comprehensive assessment and monitoring of High Conservation Value areas, ensuring that these critical zones are preserved and enhanced.
To support the introduction of this new Standard, FSC Canada will be hosting informational webinars for Certificate Holders and Certification Bodies. Registration information is noted below.
- English Webinar
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Time: 13.00 EST/EDT
- French Webinar
Date: Monday, October 23, 2023
Time: 10.00 EST/EDT
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