The theme of this year’s National Forest Week (September 18–24, 2022), “Canada’s Forests: Solutions for a Changing Climate,” offers a timely reminder of the importance of trees and forests to the nation and the world. At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), we and our network of partners know forests play a critical role in addressing climate change and storing carbon.
Given the increasing global impact of climate change, and increased understanding about the important role of forests, we developed a new objective focused on climate-smart forestry for our recently enhanced SFI 2022 Forest Management Standard.
The new climate-smart forestry objective requires SFI-certified organizations to ensure that forest management activities address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Essentially what this means is that SFI-certified organizations will be required to identify and address climate change risks to their forests and forest operations, develop adaptation objectives and strategies to address those priority climate change risks, and identify and address mitigation opportunities in forest operations.
“The SFI climate-smart forestry objective supports a commitment to ensuring that SFI standards address critical sustainability issues across North America,” said Bettina Ring, SFI Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer. “Through the climate-smart forestry objective and other elements of the SFI 2022 Forest Management Standard, the managers of more than 140 million hectares of SFI‑certified forests in Canada and the U.S. ensure that their forests make significant contributions to critical issues like climate resiliency, species recovery, water quality and quantity, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights and recognition.”
SFI and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) recently launched the SFI‑NCASI Carbon Tool, which helps SFI-certified organizations quantify carbon sequestration and storage in SFI-certified forests, to help forest managers make management decisions and for users of the SFI label to understand how certified fiber can help advance their climate-related sustainability goals.
The SFI Forest Management Standard also includes a Fire Resilience and Awareness objective, which requires SFI-certified organizations to limit the susceptibility of forests to undesirable impacts of wildfire and to raise community awareness of fire benefits, risks, and minimization measures.
For more information about the Forest Management Standard and SFI’s conservation, community, and education work, visit forests.org.