The American Forest Foundation (AFF) is partnering with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC US) to support the implementation of the FSC US Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment.
The partnership’s goal is to help companies that source fiber from family forestlands to mitigate sustainability risks identified in the FSC Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment for a specific region, such as threats to High Conservation Values and forest conversion. AFF and FSC are also working together to monitor the impacts of these risk mitigation efforts on family-owned forests. To ensure close coordination on this effort, AFF has become a Member of FSC in the Social Chamber.
Family forests, which comprise almost 40% of US forests and provide more than 50% of the wood flowing into supply chains, are a principal source of FSC Controlled Wood. Over the last year, AFF has implemented a range of risk mitigation projects across the Southeast US, in partnership with a handful of FSC Certificate Holders that source Controlled Wood. The projects engage family landowners to protect and restore High Conservation Values, including native longleaf pine systems, late-successional bottomland hardwoods, and the habitat of the dusky gopher frog.
“The approach to risk mitigation developed by the American Forest Foundation offers great potential to expand the positive impacts delivered by the FSC Controlled Wood system,” said Corey Brinkema, president of the Forest Stewardship Council US. “Family forests are vital to both conservation and US markets, so we are excited to deepen our partnership with AFF.”
AFF is also partnering with FSC to monitor and evaluate the impact of the National Risk Assessment in the United States. FSC is implementing a unique approach to risk mitigation in the US, focusing on creating measurable change at a landscape scale through the collective mitigation activities of many FSC Chain of Custody Certificate Holders. Due to the intended scale of impact, individual Certificate Holders can’t measure the overall impact. Therefore, AFF and FSC are co-creating metrics and evaluation strategies to understand the collective impact and effectiveness of the mitigation.
To that end, AFF brings its deep knowledge of family woodlands and analytical expertise to support FSC’s system. Both organizations hope this partnership can serve as a model for promoting sustainability on family forests.
“We are excited to help family forest owners have an impact on important conservation issues identified under the FSC US Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment,” said Tom Martin, president and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. “We look forward to bringing deep expertise with family woodlands to our role as a partner and member of FSC.”