A forest certification advisory committee working with the Algonquin Forestry Authority on sustainable forest management within Algonquin Provincial Park in south-central Ontario, has been recognized with the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Canada Stewardship Award for their leadership and personal commitment.

“The Algonquin Park Forest Certification Advisory Group is one of many dedicated multi-stakeholder public groups in forest communities across Canada that provide advice on locally adapted measures of good forest management,” said John Dunford, chairman of PEFC Canada. “There are many demands placed on public forests that influence how they are managed. These advisory groups help balance these forest values within the context of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) sustainable forest certification standard. We are fortunate to have many dedicated community advisory groups actively engaged in the development and certification of good forestry practices. I am pleased this year to recognize the achievements of the Algonquin Park Forest Certification Advisory Group.”

The advisory group has helped ensure local forest management meets strict on-the-ground tests required by CSA for each of the biological, environmental and social criteria under the sustainable forest management standard.

“This is great news!” said Gordon Cumming, R.P.F, chief forester for the Algonquin Forestry Authority. “Since its establishment in 2006, the advisory group has worked diligently to continually improve how Algonquin Park is managed for all forest values. I am thrilled that these committed volunteers are being recognized for their efforts – definitely well deserved!”

CSA is Canada’s national forest certification standard and the world’s largest national forest management standard with roughly 40 million hectares of woodlands certified. It includes a suite of mandatory core indicators for consistently measuring sustainable forest management across the country. It also requires local adaptations through ongoing public and Aboriginal dialogue with community advisory groups. This reflects the diversity of Canada’s forests, and the fact that over 94 per cent of them are publicly owned.

Certified CSA material can be tracked from the forest to the final wood product using the international PEFC Chain of Custody program. The products can then be labelled with the PEFC logo (the green trees symbol) that allows consumers to easily identify material from well-managed forests.

PEFC Canada represents organizations in Canada that have certified their forestry operations to the PEFC-endorsed Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) standards, as well as organizations and businesses that are certified to the PEFC International Chain of Custody Standard.