Submitted: The Two Sides Team November 19, 2015
SFI, AFF, and PEFC are among the organizations supporting a new, streamlined approach to sustainable forestry certification.
A number of leading forest products industry organizations—including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), American Forest Foundation (AFF) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)—have made statements in support of industry-wide efforts to change to forest management planning and certification, with the end goal of simplifying the forest certification process.
These efforts will include a joint project by the AFF, the Florida Forest Service and the University of Florida to create a pilot landscape management plan “to encourage sustainable forestry and bring more wood grown on family-owned forests into the sustainable global supply chain,” announced the American Tree Farm System (ATFS).
As reported on PR Newswire, both SFI and ATFS are endorsed by PEFC, which helps connect these certification systems to the global marketplace. "AFF's innovative approach will ensure many more American family forest owners have access to tools such as certification which is increasingly required by retailers," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International.
According to reports, the new certification approach is designed to reduce global market barriers for landowners by considering forest management planning from the landscape level; this takes into account the latest science and conservation priorities, with the end goal of improving the forest’s overall health. " Our woodland owners offer enormous possibilities for both forest stewardship and sustainable wood sourcing," said AFF President and CEO Tom Martin. "But in order to tap this potential we must build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with them, continuously provide them with tools, and support them over the long term ownership of their land.”
Added Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc., by connecting local programs with global partners like ATFS and PEFC, “we can help connect the dots between landowners, brand owners and customers around the world who are looking for integrated, sustainable, supply chains."