SFI Launches New Standard

Jon Robinson
January 12, 2010

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc., after an 18-month review, has released a new standard for its forest management certification program. The new SFI 2010-2014 standard focuses on the North American market, while, according to SFI, also providing a greater ability to avoid unwanted offshore sources.

The new standard also places more emphasis on social issues surrounding forest management. SFI, for more than a decade, has focused on programs to engage the logging community, for example. Since 1995, more than 117,000 loggers have received training through SFI-supported programs. The SFI program also collaborates with the American Tree Farm System to increase forest certification on family forest lands.

“The new standard's fiber sourcing requirements continue to support family forest owners in protecting threatened and endangered species, promoting reforestation and strengthening best management practices to protect water quality," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "In fact, it now explicitly requires this valuable assistance, along with programs to address Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value when working directly with family forest landowners."

More than 180-million acres (73 million hectares) are currently certified to the SFI forest management standard in North America, which, according to the organization, makes it the largest single standard in the world for forest certification.

SFI lists the following objectives as a direct result of its revisions:

• Improve conservation of biodiversity in North America and offshore, and address emerging issues such as such as climate change and bioenergy;

• Strengthen unique SFI fiber sourcing requirements, which broaden the practice of sustainable forestry in North America and avoid unwanted offshore sources;

• Complement SFI activities aimed at avoiding controversial or illegal offshore fibre sources, and embrace Lacey Act amendments to prevent illegal logging;

• Expand requirements for logger training and support for trained loggers and certified logger programs.

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