Earlier this month, a crew of Alberta Junior Forest Rangers (JFR) made a big contribution to forest health while learning about one of the most challenging jobs in our industry—tree planting. The Fox Creek JFR crew, composed of eight high school students and two leaders, spent a day planting 2000 pine seedlings at the Huestis Demonstration Forest. The tree planting was guided by one of Millar Western’s Woodlands summer interns, Garreth Carey, who is studying Forest Technology at NAIT. Located within Millar Western’s Forest Management Agreement area, the Huestis Demonstration Forest is a few minutes’ drive northwest of Whitecourt. The site includes a seven-kilometre driving loop with interpretive signs, informing visitors about how a forest can offer recreational opportunities, sustain wildlife, and provide resources for wood products, all while continuing to grow and thrive. Huestis is a working forest, containing cutblocks of varying ages that have been successfully reforested in decades past or are currently being regenerated after recent harvest.
The substantial impact of PEFC on promoting responsible forest management globally and locally, and the close alignment of our activities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): these are all clear to see in the 2015 PEFC Annual Review ‘Seeing the Bigger Picture’, released today by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s leading forest certification system.
This Annual Review captures just a few of our activities and those of our members in 2015, but it already demonstrates that sustainable forest management is much more than just an environmental issue. It equally addresses the social, economic and cultural dimensions of sustainability at the core of the 17 SDGs.
“For me, the adoption of the SDGs by the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly was one of the most remarkable achievements of 2015, next to the Paris Agreement,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, commenting on one of the key events of last year.
“The SDGs capture the most pressing issues of our times, the most challenging targets towards a sustainable future, in 17 aspirational, easy to communicate goals,” Mr. Gunneberg continued.
For us at PEFC, the SDGs help us to better communicate the holistic nature of our work. They recognize the positive contributions of forests rather than treating them merely as a threatened natural resource that requires conservation.
In fact, while sustainable forest management is directly referenced in SDG15: Life on Land, it is inherently part of most – if not all – of the SDGs.
We invite you to turn the pages of our 2015 Annual Review and see the bigger picture among the many activities undertaken by the PEFC family and our partners all over the world.