Embracing New Horizons: President's Message for 2024

Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada

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As we usher in the dawn of a new year, I am filled with gratitude and excitement as I reflect on the remarkable journey we embarked upon together in 2023.

The unwavering commitment of our diverse network of partners has fueled FSC Canada's momentum, propelling us towards a future where sustainably managed forests stand as a testament to our collective dedication.

In 2023, our shared vision was brought to life through the trust placed in our National Forest Management Standard. This trust not only represents a commitment to Indigenous rights, ecosystem preservation, and the battle against climate change but also serves as the cornerstone for our unique approach to co-creating solutions for robust, resilient forests.

A significant milestone in our journey was the proud unveiling of the new Small-Scale, Low-Intensity Managed Forests & Community Forests Standard. This initiative simplifies requirements while upholding the rigorous environmental and social standards that define FSC. It opens doors for certificate holders, ensuring that sustainable forestry practices are accessible to all, from small-scale endeavors to community-led initiatives.

Our commitment to addressing global challenges continued with the North American Carbon Research Study, revealing that FSC forests not only store more carbon but also provide sustainable forest products. This groundbreaking research underscores the profound impact of our standards on climate and ecosystems, reinforcing the significance of our mission.

In the realm of market initiatives, our focus on the solid wood segment and the growing FSC certification in Western Canada marks strategic endeavors to increase both supply and demand. These initiatives not only secure the future of Canadian forests and at-risk species but position FSC-certified brands as true leaders in climate-friendly practices, resonating with consumers and investors alike.

Our dedication to Indigenous engagement has taken a monumental step with the appointment of Satnam Manhas as Senior Manager, Indigenous Capacity Support Canada by the FSC Indigenous Foundation. In this crucial role, Satnam will amplify the invaluable benefits of FSC certification to Indigenous Peoples, offering essential support to key First Nation certificate holders and organizations pursuing FSC certification in Western Canada. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our commitment to upholding the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent principle.

As we move forward into 2024, the implementation of our Monitoring and Implementation Program for the Forest Management Standard will allow us to systematically measure and evaluate our impacts. This program is integral to ensuring that our goals translate into tangible positive outcomes for forests, communities, and the environment.

In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to our members, certificate holders, and stakeholders for your enduring support. Let us seize the current momentum and, together, build upon it to shape a future where sustainability, inclusivity, and environmental stewardship are the cornerstones of our shared success.

Wishing you all a year filled with resilience, collaboration, and profound achievements.

With gratitude,

Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada

Source: FSC Canada