After successful meetings with both federal ministers and Ontario government officials, FSC said it is heartened by the federal government’s April 20th deadline given to the Province of Quebec regarding the conservation of habitat for species-at-risk, woodland caribou.
FSC is calling upon the Quebec government to collaborate meaningfully with the federal government and is even offering their support and subject matter expertise to help Quebec achieve the goals of the Federal Caribou Recovery Strategy. Consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples must be core to any government strategy, as FSC did when developing their national forest management standard which outlines the specific requirements forest managers must follow to earn FSC certification.
Plans are already being implemented by FSC certificate holders in over 16 million hectares of certified Canadian forest which overlap with woodland caribou ranges – with two notable examples in Quebec. There is an additional 57 million hectare of caribou range in Canada, creating the opportunity for FSC certificates to have an even greater impact.
And while the FSC forest management standard includes caribou conservation requirements it also extends to include high environmental standards for forest management, which the market is increasingly demanding to help fulfill necessary ESG targets.
The Forest Stewardship Council is a global organization dedicated to promoting prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to set standards for responsible forest management, offering businesses credible verification of sustainably produced timber and wood products and helping consumers identify these products from well-managed forests. Currently, 50 million hectares and more than 600 businesses in Canada are certified to FSC standards.
Canada is balancing likely market pressure to increase wood production due to the decreased supply resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the urgent need to prioritize the conservation of critical habitat for woodland caribou, knowing that their home, the boreal forest, also plays an essential role in mitigating the harsher impacts of a looming environmental crisis.