Promoters of responsible forestry gather in Vancouver

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VANCOUVER, Oct. 8, 2017  – Setting the course for the next three years of global responsible forest management, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) today begins its week-long triennial General Assembly in Vancouver.

Approximately 800 members from over 80 countries are expected to gather at the city’s Westin Bayshore Hotel to discuss policy issues that affect 200 million hectares of forests worldwide and will set the direction of the organization for the coming years.

As holder of vast natural forest resources, Canada boasts one of the largest global shares of FSC certification with 55 million hectares of forests certified. This includes parts of the boreal, a key biome for Canada’s forestry industry. This year’s General Assembly will include strategic discussions centered on analyzing how this type of forest compares to other regions with regard to major issues such as deforestation, risks, social responsibility and respect for Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Ensuring the rights and participation of Indigenous Peoples in forest development is equally on the agenda. Through its Aboriginal Peoples Chamber, FSC Canada has been leading as a model for including Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the decision-making process of forestry management.

“This is a vital time in the development of FSC and forest certification as we address the issues that are key to the success not just of FSC but the future of the world’s forests,” said Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC. “We made a lot of progress at our last General Assembly in 2014 with the launch of several new initiatives. In Vancouver we will review how we have progressed and chart a clear path forward to continue our work.”

High Level Forum

One of the highlights of the General Assembly is the High Level Forum and side events.  The first High Level Forum will be dedicated to The True Value of Forests, where participants will discuss the extent of the contribution of forests to society.

While it may seem obvious that the value of forests goes far beyond forest-based products, notes the event program, it appears that the benefits derived from responsible management of forests are now less valued than the short-term gains coming from their destruction.

See: Globe-Net article ” Alarm at rise in forest carbon ”

“We look forward to hosting delegates from around the world at the General Assembly in Vancouver and collaborating on vital decisions that will affect how our forest certification process will meet the requirement for responsible forestry in the 21st century,” said François Dufresne, President, FSC Canada. “The collaborative process of FSC in addressing these issues with all stakeholders present is the key to our success.”

bout the General Assembly are available at www.ga2017.fsc.org

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