New Forest certification standard in effect for more than 152 million acres
Arlington, VA— The Sustainable Forestry Board (SFB), the non-profit organization responsible for the oversight of North America’s largest forest certification program, released its new standard for sustainable forest management. The 2005-2009 Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) ® Standard was developed through a 12 month transparent and extensive public review process involving web based comment periods and review workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Public comment and research resulted in a number of enhancements to the Standard.
Based on the international scope of forest certification, several provisions were added to address social issues and the management of public lands including public involvement, indigenous peoples, non-timber forest products, traditional forest-related knowledge, and illegal logging.
The new standard also adds rigor to audit procedures and strengthens the required qualifications for the independent auditor. Bill Banzhaf, SFB president, stated, “Unless we can ensure the competence and independence of our auditing force, the substantive enhancements to the Standard will have little effect on what happens in the forest. Our auditors must meet specific educational and experience criteria as established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB).”
As of the end of 2004, there are more than 152 million acres of managed forest lands enrolled in the SFI Program. More than 93 million of those acres are now certified by independent third-party auditors.
For more information you can download the complete 2005-2009 SFIS at the SFB web site: www.aboutsfb.org