New FSC certification is Alberta milestone
September 20, 2005 – Ottawa
Sustainable forestry in Canada’s Boreal region got a boost today with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.’s announcement of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification says the Canadian Boreal Initiative.
The 5.5 million ha FSC-certified area of public land managed by Al-Pac is the first in Alberta and is the single largest FSC certification worldwide. Together, Al-Pac’s announcement and existing certifications by Domtar Inc. and Tembec Inc. make up the majority of Canada’s 14.3 million ha of FSC-certified forest – the most of any country in the world.
The Canadian Boreal Initiative notes that all three companies are among the unusual alliance of leading Canadian companies, First Nations and conservation groups that signed the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework – a bold national vision for balancing protection and sustainable development in Canada’s vast Boreal region.
“Today’s announcement is an example of the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework in action,” said Cathy Wilkinson, Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative. “These leading Canadian forestry companies are walking the conservation talk – acting on their commitment to greater protection, world-class sustainable practices and development that engages and benefits Aboriginal and local communities in Canada’s Boreal region.”
“It is very exciting to welcome FSC to Alberta,” said Chris Henschel of CPAWS. “We applaud the path that Al-Pac is on and we look forward to continuing our work with them to implement this bold vision of conservation and sustainable forestry.”
“Today’s announcement means that wood and paper customers throughout the North American marketplace looking for green alternatives can start finding them in Alberta,” said Lafcadio Cortesi of ForestEthics. “FSC certification should make Alberta’s forest industry more competitive by providing certainty to customers that products are free from environmental and social controversy.”
Tony Iacobelli, of World Wildlife Fund Canada observed that FSC certification provides a new opportunity for people to work together. “Al-Pac’s announcement is the latest demonstration of how conservation groups and industry, too often enemies in the past, can come together under FSC. Many problems are solved at this table, helping us conserve more wildlife and protect more forest, and ultimately build the relationships that will lead to even greater conservation, and ultimately the implementation of the Framework vision, over the long-term.”
“Today’s announcement represents a remarkable milestone in Alberta, demonstrating that conservation is a viable goal in one of the busiest working forest landscapes in the country, ” said Gary Stewart of Ducks Unlimited Canada. “I would also like to acknowledge the important role of those who worked directly with Al-Pac to help shape this conservation outcome.”
Al-Pac’s FSC-certificate highlights the company’s strengths as well as setting out a series of implementation conditions in line with the visionary standard. FSC is an independent, rigorous and verifiably performance-based forest certification system that has broad market acceptance and is widely recognized as the international gold standard for sustainable forestry among major environmental and social organizations worldwide. FSC is equally governed in Canada by Aboriginal, economic, environmental and social chambers. Boreal forestry operations in Canada are assessed against FSC’s National Boreal Standard, which is endorsed by all of these sectors. For more information, visit www.fsccanada.org.
The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework was launched by the Canadian Boreal Initiative in 2003 in concert with an extraordinary and unlikely alliance – Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Domtar Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., Tembec Inc., Dehcho First Nations, Innu Nation, Poplar River First Nation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Ducks Unlimited Canada, Forest Ethics and World Wildlife Fund (Canada). The Framework calls for protection of at least half of Canada’s Boreal in large interconnected protected areas and world-class sustainable development practices on the remaining landscape. For more information on the Framework and on Canada’s Boreal region, visit www.borealcanada.ca.