Sierra Club of/du Canada

SCC Forest Certification Bulletin

Bulletin Number 5 - April 2002

This bulletin has been prepared by the Sierra Club of Canada, and provides a concise summary of key new developments related to certification, with a focus on issues in Canada. It is distributed by email and available on the Sierra Club of Canada’s website at

If you have information that you'd like to have added to future editions of the bulletin, or if you'd like to ensure that you receive future copies directly, or if you’d prefer not to receive the bulletin, please contact Rachel Plotkin at And let us know what you think – are you satisfied with the level of detail provided in this bulletin, and with the topics covered?

Resources available

A report is now available from the international workshop, hosted by WWF in March 2001, that looked at issues facing standards for the boreal forest regions around the world. The workshop broke into groups that explored landscape level ecology, stand level ecology and other issues with the aim of providing regional FSC working groups access to current research, and identifying common ecological issues for boreal standard development in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Each working group's recommendations can be read in the document, available on the WWF website:

French Severn Forest certified

The French Severn Forest in central Ontario, managed by Westwind Forest Stewardship Inc, received FSC certification in March 2002. The public summary report can be viewed at: (information - forest management certification - reports). If you would like to speak with staff from Westwind about their certification process, call (705) 746-6832.

FPAC announcement

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced in January that it will require member companies to certify their forest management practices by an independent, third party certifying body. FPAC is recognizing three certification standards: FSC, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Canada's National Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CAN/CSA Z809). For more information, visit:

New FSC project to reduce barriers for small forest owners

As small forest woodlot owners face different realities than forestry corporations, the FSC Secretariat is leading an effort to address the certification needs of smaller and low intensity forestry operations. This initiative is particularly important in supporting the livelihoods of many small, rural communities around the world.

Chain of Custody Certification Policy announced for FSC

A new Chain of Custody certification policy for small processors and retail operators has been announced by FSC. The policy will be implemented on a one- year trial basis, and is intended to facilitate greater access to the FSC certification system by mitigating audit costs that are often perceived as a barrier to participation.

FSC to launch Consultation Process on Social Strategy

FSC is set to release a draft social strategy in April 2002 that aims to: address the social concerns of its constituencies, formulate cores social values for FSC and translate these ideals into specific objectives, outputs and activities that are closely linked with the organization's core business. The draft strategy draws from ideas and comments expressed over a number of years by a wide range of individuals and organizations and, in particular, a series of meetings that discussed social issues in certification, such as the 2nd FSC annual conference.

FSC Percentage Based Claims questionnaire results

The results of FSC's study to solicit opinions on the percentage based claims process from FSC members and other stakeholders revealed, in short, a level of confusion about guidelines and rules. A second phase of the study, looking at recommendations and options for policy change, is underway.

The results of the questionnaire are posted on the FSC webpage:


We're including the most up-to-date information available, but some of these scheduled events may be subject to change.

June 3-7, 2002 -- 3rd FSC General Assembly, Oaxaca. The Annual General Assembly will be preceded by two days of meetings for each chamber of the FSC

June 15-16, 2002 -- FSC Canada Annual General Meeting, Edmonton

August 23-24, 2002
-- 25th FSC Board of Directors meeting, Johannesburg, South Africa

November 22-27, 2002
-- FSC General Assembly, Oaxaca, Mexico


FSC Canada has upgraded its website with an extensive “References and Documents” section, and specific sections for discussion including a new “Boreal” section. Check it out at

It is now possible to access a database of all FSC certificates in North America, including their current status. Plans are underway to include certificates from Europe. The database is maintained by the Certified Forest Product Council and is accessible at

Developing Forest Stewardship Standards: A Survival Guide is a handbook written by Hannah Scrase and Anders Lindhe, available from the Taiga Rescue Network at

The FSC/SFI comparison study recently completed by the Meridian Institute, is available at

ProForest, a forestry consultant, has written a guide providing practical advice to anyone wishing to set up an FSC group certification scheme. Titled A Practical Guide to Developing a Group Scheme for FSC-Accredited Certification of Forests, the publication can be downloaded from


100 Broadview, Suite 421
Toronto, ON M4M 3H3
Tel: 416-778-5568
Fax: 416-778-0044


Denise English
East Kootenay Environmental Society
Tel: 250-344-2698
Fax: 250-344-2798

Martin von Mirbach
Sierra Club of Canada
Tel: 613-241-4611 or 613-569-0034
Fax: 613-241-2292

178 Rexdale Blvd.
Toronto, ON M9W 1R3
Tel: 416-747-4000
Katie Altoft: