Prince Edward Island is leading the way with its plans to seek international certification for all its public forest lands.
“We are the first government in Canada to commit to having all our public forest lands receive certification,” said Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown.
“Adopting international standards of care for our forest lands will improve soil conservation, protect watersheds, improve air quality, and protect wildlife habitat for today and for future generations.”
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization that sets standards for forest management. Certification involves meeting strict regulations through a land management plan that must be approved by the certifying body.
The first piece of land to receive certification by the Forest Stewardship Council is 420 acres on the Gairloch Road in Kings County. It will be managed under an agreement with the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project.
“This is very exciting and ground-breaking news since this is the first parcel of public lands in Canada to become FSC certified as a result of a provincial government’s initiative and long-term commitment to balance environment, social and economic values that benefit citizens within various communities for today and tomorrow,” said Bill MacKay, president of Nagaya Forest Restoration, a certifying agent for FSC.
FSC certification also acts as a market-based tool that promotes good management of forests around the world. The Council works to raise awareness of certification by promoting the purchase and use of FSC certified products.
Brown said the department will continue the process of certifying public forest land with property in western PEI.