Press Releases - 2010
Re: FSC and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
October 20, 2010
To whom it may concern:
In response to questions raised regarding the relationship between the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), we the undersigned conservation groups, all of whom are signatories of the CBFA, wish to clarify our ongoing commitment to the FSC and, importantly, our recognition of and support for the legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources.
- Many of our organizations continue to be deeply involved in setting FSC policy, serving in official and unofficial advisory and director roles with FSC, being major funders of FSC and are regular voting members of FSC;
- The CBFA is distinct from and will in no way affect FSC-certified companies’ requirements, including P3, P5, P6 and P9 . ENGOs supporting the FSC will continue to actively support and advocate for those requirements;
- In negotiating the CBFA, we believed and continue to believe that the CBFA will help facilitate new FSC certifications in Canada;
- We have reserved the right to show preference for FSC in the marketplace and we intend to strongly support and actively show preference for FSC in the marketplace and in public throughout implementation of the CBFA;
- In showing preference for FSC throughout implementation of the CBFA we intend to highlight that FSC:
- Recognizes indigenous peoples’ and workers’ rights better than any other certification system;
- Has the most extensive, diverse, and democratically accountable organizational structure and membership of any certification system in the world, with more than 800 members in over 80 countries;
- Has tougher, more comprehensive performance based standards, and a greater commitment to transparency and stakeholder consultation, than any other certification system; and,
- Maintains tighter controls over its certificates, labels, claims, product content and sourcing than any other certification system.
- For our organizations, a fundamentally important concept within the CBFA and key to its successful implementation is the explicit recognition that aboriginal peoples have constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights and title as well as legitimate interests and aspirations, and that the agreement is intended to be without prejudice to, and in accordance with, those rights and title. We believe that such rights must be interpreted and understood in accordance with state responsibilities as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- It is our intention to secure new and additional FSC certifications in Canada. We believe that the CBFA will help currently non-FSC certified members of the Forest Products Association of Canada become familiar and comfortable with FSC.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with Aboriginal organizations and FSC supporters.
Canadian Boreal Initiative
National Executive Director
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Director, Terrestrial Conservation and Science Program
David Suzuki Foundation
Forest Campaign Coordinator
Pew Environment Group’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign
Referenced FSC Principles:
Principle 3. Recognition and respect of indigenous peoples' rights
Principle 5. Equitable use and sharing of benefits derived from the forest
Principle 6. Reduction of environmental impact of logging activities and maintenance of the ecological functions and integrity of the forest
Principle 9. Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) defined as environmental and social values that are considered to be of outstanding significance or critical importance