What is SFI?
The Sustainable Forestry Initiatives (SFI) Forest management standard includes a comprehensive system of principles, objectives and performance measures developed by foresters, conservationists and scientists that when put into practice, ensures forests are being managed in a sustainable manner. The standard is based on a set of core principles that address economic, environmental, cultural and legal factors, as well as a commitment to continual improvement.
The Maritime Canada SFI Implementation Committee (MSIC) promotes and fosters understanding of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and encourages the implementation of sustainable forestry practices to wood suppliers, landowners and the public through auditing and continuing eduation.
The SFI standard is based on 15 Principles of Sustainable Forestry. Together the SFI principles are designed to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value. These standards apply to organizations that manage lands in either Canada or the United States. As written in the SFI Standards and Rules document, these Principles include:
- Sustainable Forestry – To practice sustainable forestry to meet the needs of the present withouth compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the managing, growing, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products and ecosystem services such as the conservation of soil, air and water quality, carbon, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitats, recreation and aesthetics.
- Forest Productivity and Health – To provide for regeneration after harvest and maintain the productive capacity of the foresland base, and to protect and maintain long-term forest and soil productivity. In addition, to protect forests from economically or environmentally undesirable levels of wildlife, pests, diseases, invasive exotic plants and animals, and other damaging agents and thus maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
- Protection of Water Resources – To protect water bodies and riparian areas, and to conform with forestry best management practices to protect water quality.
- Protection of Biological Diversity – To manage forests in ways that protect and promote biological diversity, including animal and plant species, wildlife habitats, and ecological or natural community types.
- Aethestics and Recreation – To manage the visual impacts of forest operations, and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.
- Protection of Special Sites – to manage lands that are ecologically, geologically or culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities.
- Efficient Use of Fiber Resources – To minimize waste and ensure the efficient use of fiber resources.
- Recognize and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights – to recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge.
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance – To comply with applicable federal, provincial, state, and local laws and regulations.
- Forestry Research, Science and Technology – to invest in forestry research, science and technology, upon which sustainable forest management decisions are based and broaden the awareness of climate change impacts of forests, wildlife and biological diversity.
- Training and Education – To improve the implementation of sustainable forestry practices through appropriate training and education programs.
- Community Involvement and Landowner Outreach – To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry through public outreach, education, and involvement, and to support the efforts of SFI Implementation Committee.
- Public Land Management Responsibilities – To participate and implement sustainable forest management on public lands.
- Communications and Public Reporting – To increase transparency and to annually report progress on conformance with the SFI Forest Management Standard.
- Management Review and Continual Improvement – To promote continual improvement in the practice of sustainable forestry by conducting a management review and monitoring performance.
To learn more about the SFI forest management program, please visit SFI’s website or you can go back to our main menu and find the SFI Inc. website under SFI INC.