Global Forestry Leaders Express Mutual Support for Advancing Sustainable Forestry

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), American Forest Foundation (AFF) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) made announcements this week expressing mutual support for new approaches to forest management planning and certification, which will help streamline forest certification, and ensure access to the global marketplace.

Among these efforts, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) announced a joint effort by AFF, the Florida Forest Service and the University of Florida for a pilot landscape management plan to encourage sustainable forestry and bring more wood grown on family-owned forests into the sustainable global supply chain.

Both SFI and ATFS are endorsed by PEFC, which helps both certification systems connect effectively to the global marketplace. All three certification systems provide guidelines for management, to ensure that forests are managed to the highest possible environmental and sustainability standards.

“AFF’s innovative approach will ensure many more American family forest owners have access to tools such as certification which is increasingly required by retailers. Family forest owners worldwide in our 40 national certification systems will be able to benefit from this approach. This is a very exciting development,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

The new certification approach will reduce barriers for landowners and look at management planning from the landscape level, taking into account conservation priorities and the latest science. It aims to improve overall forest health and conserve and promote benefits for habitat, biodiversity and clean water.

“Our success during the past 75 years is in part to our deep understanding of family woodland owners and their needs,” said AFF President and CEO Tom Martin. “Our woodland owners offer enormous possibilities for both forest stewardship and sustainable wood sourcing. But in order to tap this potential we must build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with them, continuously provide them with tools, and support them over the long term ownership of their land.”

“Time Inc. strongly supports the growth of certification in the supply chain. As a founder of the SFI Forest Partners Program, we were pleased to recognize the Florida Forest Service’s leadership in achieving SFI certification on state lands last week,” said Guy Gleysteen, Senior Vice President of Production at Time Inc.” The Florida Forest Service leadership and commitment to responsible forestry is demonstrated even further by their partnership with AFF and the University of Florida to grow small land certification in the state.”

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