SFF Eco-Certification Program
Important Change: As of January 31, 2003, SFF is no longer an FSC-accredited certifier. See below for details. If you are looking for an FSC-accredited certifier, visit FSC International or FSC Canada.
Changes at SFF—A Message From the Executive Director
Those of you who have been following SFF's work over the years know that we have been pioneers in forest certification in both British Columbia and throughout Canada. From our very first newsletter in spring of 1994, our certification work has been highlighted along with our ecosystem-based planning projects.
We've led the way by developing our own high certification standards that have helped raise the bar for standards being developed regionally and nationally. We've been active in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) at the international level since I attended the Founding Assembly in fall of 1993. In 2000, SFF became the first certifier based in Canada to be accredited by FSC. Our three FSC-certified woodlots in British Columbia are models of ecosystem-based forest use, and our 16 FSC chain-of-custody certificates form the beginning of the critical connections between wood supply and the consumer.
We are proud of our accomplishments in forest and chain-of-custody certification. However, we've been able to achieve these results thanks to generous funding from some major foundations. Due to the current stock market decline and general economic conditions, our funders find themselves in a difficult situation and it is doubtful that we can continue to raise the funds necessary to effectively carry out our responsibilities as an accredited certifier.
Our Board of Directors has recently reached a very difficult decision to relinquish our FSC accreditation and discontinue our activities as a certifier, effective in early 2003. SFF feels a strong responsibility to our certified operations and we are in the process of assisting each of them to find a new FSC certifying body. We will continue to help with the monitoring costs of small operations as long as we are able.
We have been privileged to have a talented and dedicated certification staff over the past five years who have worked very hard to establish SFF's place in the certification world. Many thanks to Mark Kepkay, Cam Brewer, Wendy Vasbinder, Erik Leslie, and Danielle Peloquin for their contributions to the program.
SFF remains a strong supporter of FSC certification and we will continue to be an active FSC member. We will remain active participants in the development of the FSC boreal standards and in the refinement of the BC standards and will continue to work with environmental groups on issues surrounding certification. We will continue to support the Canadian Eco-Lumber Co-Op in its efforts to connect producers of FSC certified wood and wood products with appropriate markets. We will work with other ENGOs, First Nations, and social interests to make the FSC-BC standards work. We will be able to provide assistance to forest operations as they prepare for FSC certification. While our role will be different, our commitment to changes in forest management through FSC certification remains strong.
SFF's focus as an organization will now be on ecosystem-based conservation planning and education and training. We have been building these programs since our beginnings nearly ten years ago, and we will continue to do so. We will continue to work with First Nations and rural communities to build strong community economies that are based on maintaining the integrity of the ecosystems around them. We will continue to lead the way in defining what ecosystem-based planning and management mean.
We look forward to keeping you informed about our ongoing work and thank you for your support over the past ten years.
For the forest,
Susan Hammond, Executive Director
Learn more about SFF’s certification standards at Summary of Silva Forest Foundation Standards for Ecologically Responsible Timber Management and Standards Checklist for Ecologically Responsible Timber Management
Learn more about SFF’s former involvement in certification here