MONTREAL – The Forest Stewardship Council Canada, an independent certifier of forest management practices, is pleased the federal government has issued a draft action plan to support Canada’s boreal caribou population, but believes the plan must do more to encourage better forest management practices as a vital element to protecting caribou and other species at risk.

“Plans to help species at risk, such as the woodland caribou, cannot be made in isolation to the overall needs for responsible management of our forests,” said François Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. “We need to ensure more of our forests are managed to the standards that not only protect wildlife but do so while also meeting our economic, social and environmental needs, as well as those of Indigenous Peoples for generations to come.”

FSC Canada will consider submitting formal comments on the plan as part of the government’s public consultation process. By submitting formal comments to the new action plan, FSC Canada hopes to cooperate with the federal government in reaching the 2020 biodiversity goals.

The organization says it is concerned with the recent report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) that documents how Canada is lagging behind in meeting its commitments under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. FSC believes that current forest management practices hinder Canada meeting biodiversity targets set for 2020.

Roughly 20 per cent of the managed forest area in Canada is FSC certified.