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New forestry standards will better safeguard wetlands
Winnipeg, Man.—Revised forest certification standards from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) will ensure companies don’t miss the forest—or its wetlands—for the trees.
Launched last week, the standards incorporate recommendations brought forward by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and others. DUC is a national leader in wetland conservation and strongly supports forest certification. It works with many partners, including SFI®, to conserve wetlands and associated habitats.
“We are thrilled to be a partner in improving these standards,” said Greg Siekaniec, CEO of DUC and SFI board member. “Because of DUC’s involvement in the process, we’ve strengthened the conservation of forested wetlands in important areas across the country.”
In order to be certified, companies must meet the forest management criteria outlined in the standard, which must be verified by an independent third party. Every five years, the SFI standard is updated through this public process that addresses new research, responds to emerging issues and ensures continuous improvement.
Many of the companies looking for SFI certification in Canada operate in the nation’s northern boreal forest, an area rich in wetlands and that provides critical habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds from all over North America.
“We’ve worked with industry to develop best management practices around issues like the construction of forestry roads and maintenance of water quality,” said Chris Smith, head of boreal conservation for DUC. “These standards ensure that companies will put them to use.”
Organizations who are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard will need to have a program to address the maintenance of wetlands, water flow and its quality during all phases of their operations. Best practices for road construction in particular will be required.
“One of DUC’s top priorities is to protect the vast network of wetlands in Canada’s boreal forest,” said Siekaniec. “When we are able to cooperatively change how an industry approaches sustainable development, it will have a huge impact across the entire boreal landscape.”
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.
Boreal Communications Coordinator