2023 President's Message

Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

FSC Canada’s momentum in 2023 is spurred by our diverse and growing network of engaged partners, each of whom are dedicated to building a landscape of sustainably managed forests.

Their trust in our National Forest Management Standard demonstrates their collective commitment to support Indigenous rights, protect ecosystems, and combat climate change.

Our mission is in clear focus on the heels of a historic pledge at COP15 to protect 30 per cent of the planet by 2030. We all know that only together can we make the necessary impact - which, I can attest, is a key driver in our unique approach to the co-creation of solutions for healthy, resilient forests.

Last spring, in partnership with our U.S. colleagues, we proudly unveiled a joint North American Climate and Ecosystems Services (CES) strategy. It is guided by new solutions that will better measure and define the meaningful impact our standard makes on carbon emissions, safeguarding the biodiversity of our forests, and respecting Indigenous rights.

Last fall, our global community reunited at FSC’s General Assembly, helping cement important decisions amongst 750 stakeholders from industry, trade unions, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and environmental groups. Key to these trusted collaborations is that FSC’s approach to forest management meets 14 of 17 UN Sustainable Development goals, which is why it’s so well respected around the world.

* * *

In 2023 and beyond, as ESG commitments and meaningful First Nations participation become increasingly required in Canada, our standard becomes a critical tool for our partners and allies.

On one hand, Indigenous-led forestry in collaboration with industry introduces an array of economic, social and environmental benefits – as evidenced in the upcoming story about one partnership in Northern Ontario. Our standard requires certificate holders to uphold the Free, Prior and Informed Consent principle through which they can build prosperous, respected relationships with local First Nations.

On the other, achieving FSC certification across industries, from lumber to paper products, not only protects the future of Canadian forests and at-risk species, but also enables brands to be truly climate-friendly in the eyes of consumers and investors.

In 2023, we will work to ensure that our standard is in reach for all possible partners, including small-scale and community forests, taking into account the intensity and capacity of these operations. This includes our efforts to increase FSC forest management certification in Western Canada in the year ahead.

Overall, whether it’s on a global, national, regional or local level – we must move forward together. Thank you as always to our members, certificate holders and stakeholders for your enduring support. Let’s seize the current momentum and build it further throughout 2023.

- Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada

Source: FSC Canada