The province announced today, Feb. 29, that it will discontinue Forest Stewardship Council certification on the Medway District in western Nova Scotia. The lands will now have one forest management certification rather than two.
“The decision to relinquish the FSC certification is based on duplication in certification,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. “The government is a strong supporter of forest certification, and the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certificate that remains in place on the Medway lands, complements our comprehensive forest management regulations, and meets customer needs.”
Forest management certification is carried out by independent organizations that assess forestry operations against standards for sustainable forest management. Nova Scotia was the only provincial government in Canada that held the Forest Stewardship Council certificate.
Mr. Hines said he expected the change will have no impact on businesses operating in the area, and that licensees and the market should determine certification use.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a forestry certification that is used across North America and is supported by many non-government agencies including Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Wildlife Society. In addition to maintaining a certification system, it provides conservation and community partnership grants in the United States and Canada to various organizations including the Nature Conservancy of Canada and National Audubon Society.
The FSC certificate in the Medway District was held over when the lands were purchased from Bowater in 2012. The Medway District Forest Management Plan and the Community Forest Pilot Project remain in place.
As part of its ongoing efforts to be open and transparent with Nova Scotians, government has already acted to improve public engagement in forestry, such as the posting of harvest maps, asking for public feedback, and advising subscribers by email when those maps are updated.