FSC Forest Stewardship Council
Member: Society Free
Charles de Gaulle Straße 5, 53113 Bonn, Germany
FSC: The world's largest FSC-Certified forest
FSC and Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac) are pleased to welcome the creation and expansion of five wildland provincial parks in Alberta, a western province of Canada. This is the largest addition to the Alberta system of provincial parks in its history, creating the largest contiguous protected boreal forest in the world.
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. is a manufacturer of quality kraft pulp located in Boyle, Alberta. The company currently manages the world’s largest contiguous FSC-certified forest at 5.9 million hectares, which now borders with the new 6.7-million-hectare protected network. Jointly these two land bases boast an impressive 12.6 million hectares of socially and environmentally responsible forest operations and management.
“Al-Pac has long recognized the importance of conservation areas as an integral part of managing human activity in the boreal forest for the long-term benefit of both biodiversity and the economy.” – Dr. Elston Dzus, Forest Ecologist, Al-Pac.
Protected areas and working landscapes are complimentary to each other, and an integral component of a landscape solution to conservation. Through FSC-certification, Al-Pac has successfully delivered positive environmental and social impacts, and engaged communities in its forest management planning. Al-Pac’s environmentally responsible operations include implementing an ecosystem-based forest management system to maintain biodiversity, and a commitment to identify and promote candidate conservation areas for consideration by local governments. Al-Pac had deferred harvest from more than 200,000 hectares of forest; part of this area is now included in the world’s largest protected network.
These combined land bases provide a solution space for caribou conservation and consultation with Indigenous peoples. FSC Canada is currently revising its Forest Management Standard. It will include indicators on managing species at risk based on current realities in Canada.
"How to address the effects of forest management practices on woodland caribou has emerged in recent years as an issue of significant debate in Canada. Populations of woodland caribou are particularly sensitive to habitat disturbances and act as a flagship species in Canada’s boreal. This means that they reflect the health of the boreal forest as a whole," explains Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada. As a result, FSC Canada has drafted an indicator dedicated entirely to woodland caribou to help in the conservation of this very important species while ensuring viable implementation on the ground.
“Al-Pac continues to be a proponent of developing collaborative solutions to integrated land management and caribou conservation. In addition to the Government of Alberta seeking additional time on the range planning file, the new protected network will assist in allowing us to examine innovative, cross sector strategies to address the many interrelated factors involved in the complex issue of caribou conservation.”- Margaret Donnelly, Forest Ecologist, Al-Pac.