Bonn –The world’s leading forest certification organization, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), will hold its triennial global General Assembly in Vancouver, Canada from 8 to 13 October, 2017. Over 800 people from more than 80 countries, including leaders in global forestry, will be attending to focus on the challenges of global responsible forestry and how FSC certification can work to enhance it.
As FSC’s highest decision making body, the General Assembly sets the direction for the organization for the coming years, with several important areas of responsible forest management, conservation and sustainability on the agenda. These include, among others, the protection of High Conservation Value areas such as Intact Forest Landscapes, ensuring the rights and participation of Indigenous Peoples in forest development, and the future directions for forest restoration and conservation, all while permitting forests to continue to supply the vital products the world depends on for many purposes.
“This is a vital time in the development of FSC and forest certification as we address the issues that are key to the success not just of FSC but the future of the world’s forests,” said Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC. “We made a lot of progress at our last General Assembly in 2014 with the launch of several new initiatives. In Vancouver we will review how we have progressed and chart a clear path forward to continue our work.”
High Level Forum and side events
One of the highlights of the General Assembly is the High Level Forum and side events. During three days, high-profile speakers from some of the most representative businesses, social and environmental advocacy groups will explore the role that FSC can play as a voluntary certification scheme for responsible forest management and how to incentivize consumer demand for sustainably sourced forest products.
The first High Level Forum will be dedicated to The True Value of Forests, where participants will discuss the extent of the contribution of forests to society. The Forum’s second day will be on Solid Wood, which will include discussions on identifying the market drivers for certified solid wood products regionally and internationally and the increasing importance of green building. The final High Level Forum debate, FSC in our Daily Lives, will explore how companies are leading the way in promoting sustainable consumer trends.
Confirmed speakers at the General Assembly are Luc Blanchette, Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks; Doug Donaldson, British Columbia Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development; Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of the Government of Canada and Glenn Mason, Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Services of Natural Resources Canada.
Among the speakers participating in the High Level Forum are Michael Green, a Vancouver based architect who is leading the use of wood in construction; Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation; and Sarah Chandler, Director of Operations, Product Development and Environmental Initiatives at Apple Inc.
Numerous side events at the General Assembly will also offer engaging debates on the current issues that directly touch upon world forestry. Canada’s Boreal forest will be a highlight of these where participants will be able to understand the importance this biome has for Canada’s forestry industry and the global environment.
“We look forward to hosting delegates from around the world at the General Assembly in Vancouver and collaborating on vital decisions that will affect how our forest certification process will meet the requirement for responsible forestry in the 21st century,” said François Dufresne, President, FSC Canada. “The collaborative process of FSC in addressing these issues with all stakeholders present is the key to our success.”
Full details about the General Assembly are available at www.ga2017.fsc.org
About FSC and the FSC General Assembly
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests and sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently almost 200 million hectares and 33,000 companies worldwide are certified to FSC standards. For more information visit www.fsc.org.
At the GA, members decide through a governance structure that is unique to FSC where delegates from three chambers – environmental, social and economic – vote on motions that have previously been submitted by the members in a balanced system that allows for equal representation to all. This maintains the balance of voting power among different interests, ensuring effective, consensus-based solutions for forest management and the trade of forest products. For information about the GA, including participants, speakers, motions, and background about FSC, please visit: https://ga2017.fsc.org/