Whether it’s paper or patio furniture you’re looking for, finding responsibly harvested timber products is as easy as looking for the Forest Stewardship Council logo. But behind that simple FSC certification label is a sophisticated chain of effort to make sure “sustainable forestry” becomes an everyday word.
The Wilderness Society is proud to be a member of the FSC, whose latest effort is the first regional conference being held October 21, 2009 in Portland, Ore.
Conference attendees will discuss global, national and regional news and trends affecting forest certification. Attendance at the conference is open to organizations and individuals. If you or your organization would like to attend the conference, please contact Karen Steer at (503) 260-8335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FSC’s inception has a unique story. In 1992, the United Nations held a conference on Environment and Development (also known as the Earth Summit). One of the leading challenges at the conference was focused on how increasing demands on natural resources were confronting cultures around the world. While many of the challenges discussed have been mostly unmet, one solution resulted in the formation of FSC in 1993.
FSC was “created to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide.” The FSC standards are known as some of the world’s strongest for guiding sustainable forest management.
In 1995, FSC established the national chapter of FSC (called FSC-US) in Washington, D.C. to coordinate the development of forest management standards throughout the U.S.FSC-US, like its parent group FSC, is a non-profit organization. Membership in FSC-US is innovative and features a diverse range of organizations from conservation to for-profit organizations and social community groups. FSC-US believes that with the help of these organizations, they can transition the marketplace to view the management of forests not only for providing wood products, but also for forests ecosystem values, such as clean water and healthy wildlife habitats.
“TWS joined FSC early on because we believe that logging can be done sustainably, and that FSC was the best vehicle for creating the standards needed for forest managers,” said Bob Freimark, Acting Regional Director of the Pacific Northwest regional office of The Wilderness Society. “When people purchase wood products with the FSC logo on it, they are supporting sustainable forestry, and businesses that want to improve the environment and communities they work in. Businesses like The Collins Companies need to generate profits to operate a successful business, but they understand the importance and value of insuring their actions are compatible with good environmental stewardship and appreciated members of their community.”
In 1993, The Collins Companies was the first privately-owned forest products company in the United States to be independently certified under the principles and criteria of FSC. Paul Harlan, Vice-President of Resources for The Collins Companies understands and values the involvement of groups like The Wilderness Society in the FSC:
The Collins Companies believes that the power of FSC comes from this diverse collaborative process between the environmental, social and economic sectors. Having The Wilderness Society and other well-known environmental groups as part of the Forest Stewardship Council provides a credibility and legitimacy to FSC and their standards that other certification systems are lacking.
The Wilderness Society and The Collins Companies are joined by a broad range of organizations, including World Wildlife Fund, Duke University and Gibson Musical Instruments as members of FSC.