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The feasibility of Forest Stewardship Council certification for forested communites in British Columbia Wang, Donald Apr 30, 2015

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THE	  FEASIBILITY	  OF	  	  FOREST	  STEWARDSHIP	  COUNCIL	  CERTIFICATION	  FOR	  FORESTED	  COMMUNITIES	  IN	  BRITISH	  COLUMBIA	  Donald	  Wang	  	   	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   2	  INTRODUCTION	  The	   subject	   of	   sustainable	   forest	   certification	   has	   been	  much	  debated	  by	   the	   forest	   industry	  since	  its	  beginning	  in	  earth	  1990’s.	  Much	  of	  the	  debate	  surrounds	  the	  topic	  of	  whether	  to	  get	  certified,	   and	   what	   do	   certification	   schemes	   really	   offer	   to	   its	   holders.	   In	   this	   essay,	   the	  feasibility	  of	  forested	  communities	  in	  BC	  obtaining	  a	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  certification	  is	  discussed.	   Forested	   communities	   are	   not	   limited	   to	   community	   forests	   agreements,	   but	   also	  forest	  dependent	  communities	  with	  other	  forms	  of	  tenure.	  There	  are	  currently	  50	  community	  forest	   agreements	   in	   BC,	   (Province	   of	   BC,	   n.d.)	   and	   there	   are	  more	  on	   tenure	   forms	   such	   as	  non-­‐replaceable	   forest	   license.	   Combined,	   these	   forested	   communities	   take	   up	   a	   sizeable	  amount	  of	  allowable	  annual	  cut.	  HISTORY	  OF	  THE	  FSC	  In	  the	  1980s,	  non-­‐governmental	  organizations	  (NGOs)	  and	  other	  stakeholders	  were	  increasingly	  concerned	   about	   the	   lack	   of	   government	   regulation	   over	   irresponsible	   and	   illegal	   logging	  occurring	   globally.	   (Synnott,	   2005)The	   idea	   of	   a	   forest	   certification	   and	   labelling	   system	  was	  conceived.	  A	   legally	  binding	  global	   forest	  agreement	  was	  presented	  at	   the	  UN	  Conference	  on	  Environment	   Development	   (UN	   CED);	   however,	   forest-­‐rich	   developing	   countries	   viewed	   the	  proposal	   as	   a	   trade	   barrier	   and	   opposed	   to	   it.	   This	   has	   led	   the	   World	   Wide	   Fund	   (WWF,	  formerly	  known	  as	  the	  World	  Wildlife	  Fund)	  to	  believe	  that	  a	  certification	  system	  would	  have	  to	  be	  developed	  by	  a	  private	  initiative.(Humphreys,	  2014)	  The	   first	   NGO	   backed	   certification	   scheme	   was	   founded	   in	   1993.	   The	   Forest	   Stewardship	  Council	  (FSC)	  introduced	  by	  environmental	  NGOs	  including	  the	  WWF,	  along	  with	  a	  collection	  of	  other	   stakeholders.	   The	   FSC	   was	   formed	   to	   “promote	   environmentally	   appropriate,	   socially	  beneficial,	   and	   economically	   viable	  management	   of	   the	  world’s	   forests.”	   (Forest	   Stewardship	  Council,	   2002)“Environmentally	   appropriate”	   meant	   the	   preservation	   of	   biodiversity,	  productivity	  and	  ecological	  processes	  within	   the	   forest.	   “Socially	  beneficial”	  meant	   that	   there	  must	  be	   long-­‐term	  commitment	   to	   forest	  management,	   so	   that	   future	  generations	   can	  enjoy	  the	  benefits	  of	  the	  forest.	  Finally,	  “economically	  viable”	  meant	  that	  profits	  would	  not	  come	  at	  the	  cost	  of	  “the	  forest	  resource,	  the	  ecosystem,	  or	  affected	  communities.	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2002)	  	  The	  FSC	  promotes	  sustainable	  forestry	  practices	  by	  utilizing	  market	  forces,	  following	  the	  path	  of	  early	   local	   initiatives	   in	   the	   late	   80’s.	   (Synnott,	   2005)Upon	   certification,	   the	   FSC	   label	   can	  be	  used	  on	  the	  products	  coming	  out	  of	  the	  certified	  forest.	  	  Environmentalist	   and	  First	  Nations	  protests	   in	   the	  1990s	   regarding	   the	  Great	  Bear	  Rainforest	  and	   Clayoquot	   Sound	   have	   sparked	   the	   public’s	   interest	   in	   sustainable	   forestry.	   The	  environmentalists	  utilized	  their	  market	  power	  to	  pressure	  some	  retailers	  to	  stock	  or	  use	  forest	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  3	  products	  derived	  from	  a	  sustainable	  source,	  forcing	  the	  forest	  industry	  to	  adapt	  to	  changes	  in	  their	   practices.	   The	   government	   revised	   its	   forest	   policies	   to	   include	   the	   requirement	   for	  sustainable	  forest	  management	  (SFM),	  and	  the	  industry	  has	  been	  under	  strict	  watch	  ever	  since.	  Feeling	  the	  pressure	  of	  the	  demand	  for	  certified	  sustainable	  forest	  products,	  the	  forest	  industry	  in	  Canada	  as	  a	  whole	  started	  to	  become	  more	  involved	  in	  forest	  certification.	  The	  total	  area	  of	  forest	   certified	   in	  Canada	  went	   from	  400,000	  hectares	   to	  151	  million	  hectares	  by	   the	  end	  of	  2013.	  Of	  the	  total	  area	  certified,	  British	  Columbia	  contributes	  54	  million	  hectares	  or	  68%,	  as	  of	  2013.	  (Ministry	  of	  Forests,	  2010)	  FSC	  PRINCIPLES	  In	   January	   2015,	   the	   author	   had	   the	   opportunity	   to	   visit	   Anahim	   Lake,	   BC.	   Anahim	   Lake	   is	   a	  small	  community	  with	   located	  on	  Highway	  20,	  320	  kilometers	  west	  of	  Williams	  Lake,	  BC.	  The	  town	  is	  a	  part	  of	  the	  Ulkatcho	  First	  Nations	  traditional	  territory	  and	  many	  members	  of	  the	  band	  live	   on	   the	   two	   reserves	   in	   the	   area.	   The	   local	   sawmill	   is	   owned	   by	   the	   First	   Nations	   and	  employs	  many	  of	  the	  town’s	  inhabitants.	  Currently,	  the	  local	  sawmill	  provides	  products	  to	  two	  major	   licensees	   and	   is	   looking	   to	   becoming	   certified.	   The	   author	   will	   use	   the	   certification	  standards	  to	  examine	  the	  effect	  of	  forest	  certification	  on	  Anahim	  Lake.	  There	  are	  many	  other	  communities	  that	  are	  similar	  to	  Anahim	  Lake,	  and	  the	  challenges	  and	  benefits	  from	  becoming	  certified	  would	  likely	  apply	  to	  other	  communities	  as	  well.	  The	  Anahim	  Lake	   sawmill	   is	  owned	  and	  operated	  by	   the	  West	  Chilcotin	   Forest	  Products.	   The	  mill	  director	   informed	   the	  author	   that	   the	  major	   licensees	   that	   the	  mills	  are	   supplying	  would	  like	   West	   Chilcotin	   Forest	   Products	   to	   become	   certified;	   however,	   the	   choice	   of	   becoming	  certified	  is	  the	  one	  made	  by	  the	  local	  sawmill.	  The	  preferred	  certification	  scheme	  stated	  by	  the	  director	  is	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  The	   FSC	   in	   British	   Columbia	   has	   two	   different	   standards:	   the	   main	   standard,	   and	   the	   small	  operations	  standard.	  The	  small	  operation	  standard	  has	  the	  following	  restrictions:	  • meet	  the	  FSC-­‐Canada	  definition	  of	  Small	  and	  Low	  Intensity	  Managed	  Forests	  (i.e.	  SLIMFs	  –	  management	  units	   less	  than	  1,000	  ha,	  OR	  management	  units	  that	  have	  an	  allowable	  annual	  cut	  that	   is	  <5,000m3	  and	   less	  than	  20%	  of	  the	  total	  mean	  annual	   increment	  of	  the	  productive	  forest	  area);	  or,	  • are	  less	  than	  2,000	  ha.	  in	  area.	  For	   the	   small	   operator	   standards,	   some	   criteria	   that	   don’t	   apply	   to	   small	   scale	   forestry	   have	  been	   removed.	   Some	   others	   have	   been	   modified	   to	   accommodate	   the	   scale	   of	   the	   small	  operators.	  There	  are	  no	  differences	  between	  the	  two	  standards	  in	  terms	  of	  the	  environmental,	  social	   and	   economic	   accountability.	   Anahim	   Lake	   area	   does	   not	   meet	   the	   small	   operation	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   4	  standards	  requirement	  due	  to	  larger	  area	  and	  higher	  volume;	  therefore	  the	  main	  standards	  will	  be	  applied	  in	  this	  case	  study.	  PRINCIPLE	  1:	  COMPLIANCE	  WITH	  LAWS	  AND	  FSC	  PRINCIPLES	  Principle	   1	   outlines	   the	   compliance	   requirements	   that	   the	   certifying	   agency	   has	   for	   its	  applicants.	   The	   requirements	   include	   compliance	   with	   national	   and	   local	   laws,	   international	  agreements,	  and	  FSC	  principles.	  The	  areas	  that	  are	  to	  be	  certified	  also	  must	  be	  protected	  from	  illegal	  harvesting	  and	  other	  unauthorized	  activities.	  This	  principle	  also	  requires	  forest	  managers	  to	  demonstrate	  a	  long-­‐term	  commitment	  to	  the	  FSC	  principles	  and	  criteria.	  For	  a	  community	  such	  as	  Anahim	  Lake,	  principle	  1	  does	  not	  pose	  as	  an	   issue.	  The	  community	  forest	  managers	  are	  unlikely	  to	  break	  the	  law	  to	  practice	  forestry.	  With	  the	  backing	  of	  a	  major	  licensee,	  the	  community	  is	  able	  to	  make	  long-­‐term	  commitment	  to	  adhering	  to	  the	  FSC.	  PRINCIPLE	  2:	  TENURE	  AND	  USE	  RIGHTS	  AND	  RESPONSIBILITIES	  “Clear	   long-­‐term	   tenure	   and	   use	   rights	   to	   the	   land”	   is	   one	   of	   the	   key	   requirements	   for	   this	  principle.	   The	  principle	   revolves	  around	   the	  maintenance	  and	   the	  protection	  of	   local	   control.	  The	   different	   types	   of	   tenure	   are	   taken	   into	   account	   when	   applying	   for	   the	   FSC	   standard.	  Private	  land,	  community	  forests	  (and	  other	  replaceable	  area	  based	  tenures)	  automatically	  fulfill	  the	   “clear	   long	   term-­‐tenure	   and	   use	   rights	   to	   the	   land”	   requirement.	   For	   long-­‐term	   volume	  based	  tenures,	  the	  land-­‐owner	  (i.e.	  the	  Crown)	  must	  be	  a	  co-­‐applicant	  to	  the	  certification.	  For	   woodlot	   owners,	   there	   are	   no	   concerns	   regarding	   this	   principle.	   Aboriginal	   communities	  operate	  on	  various	  types	  of	  tenures	  in	  all	  tenure	  categories.	  While	  there	  are	  several	  aboriginal	  community	   forest	   tenures	   and	  other	   area-­‐based	   tenures	   in	  BC,	  many	  are	   still	   operating	  on	  a	  form	  of	  a	  volume-­‐based	  tenure.	  There	  are	  limitations	  and	  complications	  associated	  with	  certain	  tenure	   types.	   For	   example,	   the	   non-­‐replaceable	   forest	   tenure,	   which	   Anahim	   Lake	   currently	  operates	   under,	   does	   not	   fulfill	   the	   “clear	   long-­‐term	   tenure”	   requirement.	   In	   order	   for	   the	  Anahim	  Lake	  community	  to	  apply	  for	  a	  FSC	  certification,	  they	  can	  only	  do	  so	  after	  they	  receive	  a	  new	   tenure	   (after	   the	   expiration	   of	   the	   current	   non-­‐replaceable	   timber	   licence).	   The	   new	  tenure	  would	  preferably	  be	  an	  area-­‐based	  tenure.	  Given	  the	  fact	  that	  most	  of	  the	  communities	  that	   are	   looking	   to	   get	   certified	   are	   located	   relatively	   close	   to	   the	   actual	   area,	   it	   is	   not	   a	  challenge	  for	  the	  communities	  to	  maintain	  control.	  PRINCIPLE	  3:	  INDIGENOUS	  PEOPLES’	  RIGHTS	  The	   third	  principle	   states	   that	   the	  “legal	  and	  customary	   rights	  of	   indigenous	  peoples	   to	  own,	  use	  and	  manage	  their	  lands,	  territories	  and	  resources	  shall	  be	  recognised	  and	  respected.”	  This	  principle	  is	  of	  importance	  to	  all	  First	  Nations	  communities	  	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  5	  This	   principle	   emphasizes	   heavily	   on	   respect	   of	   indigenous	   rights,	  with	   the	   first	   sub-­‐principle	  requiring	   that	   indigenous	   people	   shall	   control	   the	   forest	   management	   on	   their,	   unless	   they	  delegate	  control	  with	  free	  and	  informed	  consent.	  The	  certifying	  party	  will	  verify,	  from	  both	  the	  manager	  and	  the	  First	  Nations,	  that	  the	  rights	  of	  the	  First	  Nations	  are	  recognized	  and	  respected	  by	   the	  manager.	   Consent	   from	   the	   First	   Nations	  must	   be	   obtained	   and	   they	  must	   have	   the	  necessary	  resources	  to	  participate	  on	  an	  informed-­‐basis.	  If	  the	  area	  in	  question	  concerns	  more	  than	  one	  First	  Nations	  group,	  consent	  must	  be	  obtained	  from	  each	  party.	  The	   other	   sub-­‐principles	   require	   that	   forest	  management	   shall	   not	   threaten	   or	   diminish	   the	  resources	  or	   rights	  of	   indigenous	  peoples,	  unless	   the	  First	  Nations	  agree	   to	   the	   losses	  or	   the	  compensation	  for	  the	  losses.	  Sites	  with	  special	  cultural	  values	  must	  be	  identified	  and	  protected	  by	   forest	   managers.	   Finally,	   traditional	   knowledge	   of	   the	   First	   Nations	   people	   must	   be	  compensated	  accordingly.	  FSC	  is	  taking	  a	  very	  stringent	  approach	  to	  protecting	  the	  rights	  of	  the	  First	  Nations.	  Having	  a	  FSC	  certification	   could	   ensure	   that	   the	   local	   First	   Nations	   benefit	   from	   the	   resources	   from	   their	  traditional	   territory.	   Since	   the	   Clayoquot	   Sound	   and	   Haida	   Gwaii	   protests,	   First	   Nations	   in	  British	  Columbia	  have	  a	   long	  history	  of	   fighting	   for	   their	   traditional	   rights.	  The	  Ulkatcho	  band	  from	  Anahim	  Lake	  firmly	  believe	  in	  living	  off	  the	  natural	  resources	  of	  their	  land,	  whether	  timber	  or	  non-­‐timber.	  At	  a	  meeting	  with	  the	  Chief	  and	  several	  elders,	  the	  band	  stated	  that	  they	  must	  take	  part	   in	   any	  decision-­‐making	  process	   and	  benefit	   from	  any	  natural	   resource	   activities	   on	  their	  traditional	  territory.	  The	  same	  statement	  can	  be	  applied	  to	  any	  First	  Nations	  groups	  in	  BC.	  The	  benefits	  for	  the	  indigenous	  people	  from	  being	  FSC	  certified	  are	  quite	  obvious.	  PRINCIPLE	  4:	  COMMUNITY	  RELATIONS	  AND	  WORKER’S	  RIGHTS	  “Forest	  management	  operations	  shall	  maintain	  or	  enhance	  the	  long-­‐term	  social	  and	  economic	  well	  being	  of	  forest	  workers	  and	  local	  communities.”	  The	  first	  criterion	  states	  that	  the	  local	  and	  adjacent	  communities	  must	  be	  offered	  opportunities	  for	   jobs,	   training	   and	   other	   services.	   FSC	   verifies	   this	   by	   checking	   employment	   records	   and	  related	   written	   documentations.	   The	   next	   two	   criteria	   outline	   the	   legal	   requirement	   in	   the	  forest	  management	   practices	   and	  workers’	   rights.	   The	  workers’	   rights	  must	   comply	  with	   the	  standards	   set	   in	   the	   International	   Labour	  Organization.	   Interviews	  with	   the	   forest	  workers	  or	  union	  officers	  are	  used	  as	  verifiers	  for	  these	  two	  criteria.	  Criterion	  4.4	  requires	  the	  inclusion	  of	  evaluations	   of	   social	   impact	   into	   management	   planning.	   This	   criterion	   involves	   a	   public	  participation	  process	  and	  accommodates	  to	  directly	  affected	  persons.	  Finally,	  the	  last	  criterion	  states	  that	  compensation	  must	  be	  provided	  in	  the	  event	  of	  any	  damage	  or	  loss.	  The	   local	   First	   Nations	   band	   owns	   the	   sawmill	   in	   Anahim	   Lake,	   and	   the	   entire	   workforce	   is	  composed	  of	  residents	  of	  Anahim	  Lake.	  In	  other	  aspects	  of	  the	  forest	  industry,	  First	  Nations	  are	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   6	  employed	   for	   a	   variety	   of	   positions,	   such	   as	   timber	   cruising	   and	   harvesting.	   Meeting	   the	  requirement	   for	  principle	  4	   is	  not	  difficult	   for	  communities	   like	  Anahim	  Lake.	  Complying	  with	  the	   legal	   requirements	   and	   the	   workers’	   rights	   are	   not	   likely	   to	   be	   major	   issues	   for	   most	  communities	  in	  BC.	  PRINCIPLE	  5:	  BENEFITS	  FROM	  THE	  FOREST	  “Forest	   management	   operations	   shall	   encourage	   the	   efficient	   use	   of	   the	   forest's	   multiple	  products	   and	   services	   to	   ensure	   economic	   viability	   and	   a	   wide	   range	   of	   environmental	   and	  social	  benefits.”	  Principle	  5	  contains	  some	  very	  general	  criteria	  of	  sustainable	  product	  manufacturing.	  The	  first	  criterion	  requires	  that	  forest	  management	  should	  strive	  toward	  economic	  viability;	  criterion	  5.2	  states	   that	   local	   processing	   of	   the	   forest	   products	   should	   be	   encouraged.	   These	   are	   verified	  through	   review	   of	   the	   management	   plan	   and	   local	   interviews.	   Criterion	   5.3	   covers	   the	  minimization	  of	  waste	  and	  damage	  to	  other	   forest	   resources.	  Diversifying	   the	   local	  economy,	  conservation	  of	  watersheds	  and	  fisheries	  are	  also	  included	  in	  this	  principle.	  The	  FSC	  requires	  its	  applicants	  to	  have	  a	  diversity	  of	  timber	  and	  non-­‐timber	  forest	  products,	  which	  is	  again	  verified	  through	   interview	  with	   locals.	   The	  manager	   is	   required	   to	   take	   into	   account	   the	  presence	  of	  non-­‐timber	  forest	  values	  within	  the	  management	  unit.	  Ecosystem	  services	  are	  also	  required	  to	  be	  identified	  by	  the	  manager	  as	  stated	  in	  criterion	  5.5,	  and	  measures	  that	  maintain	  or	  enhance	  the	  ecosystem	  services	  must	  be	  implemented.	  Finally,	  the	  last	  criterion	  states	  that	  the	  harvest	  of	  forest	  products	  must	  not	  exceed	  sustainable	  levels.	  The	  intent	  for	  criterion	  5.6	  indicates	  that	  complying	  with	  the	  Crown	  allowable	  annual	  cut	  (AAC)	  generally	  meets	  the	  requirement	  of	  the	  criterion,	  with	  exceptions	  for	  private	  land,	  which	  is	  not	  regulated	  by	  the	  provincial	  AAC.	  Principle	  5’s	  criteria	  ensure	  that	  the	  forest	  manager	  has	  the	   intention	  of	  pursuing	  sustainable	  forest	   management	   and	   production.	   For	   any	   groups	   that	   have	   its	   goal	   on	   becoming	   FSC	  certified,	  the	  requirements	  from	  principle	  5	  would	  be	  all	  incorporated	  in	  the	  management	  plan	  or	  the	  business	  plan.	  In	  Anahim	  Lake,	  the	  local	  sawmill	  processes	  most	  of	  the	  products	  from	  the	  area;	   the	   mill	   is	   capable	   of	   producing	   products	   at	   a	   competitive	   cost.	   For	   an	   aboriginal	  community,	  a	  forest	  is	  rarely	  just	  a	  source	  of	  logs.	  Instead,	  a	  forest	  contains	  many	  other	  values	  that	  are	  in	  the	  form	  of	  non-­‐timber	  forest	  products.	  In	  Anahim	  Lake,	  the	  main	  non-­‐timber	  forest	  product	  is	  mushroom	  harvesting.	  In	  the	  process	  of	  developing	  a	  management	  plan	  for	  the	  area,	  mushroom	   harvesting	   is	   taken	   into	   account,	   ensuring	   that	   the	   local	   economy	   is	   not	   solely	  reliant	  on	  timber	  harvesting.	  The	  watershed	  and	  fisheries,	  and	  other	  ecosystem	  service	  values	  would	   also	   be	   included	   in	   the	   management	   plan,	   in	   the	   form	   of	   riparian	   buffer	   zones	   and	  retention	   areas.	   Unless	   the	   management	   area	   is	   located	   in	   private	   land,	   the	   provincial	   AAC	  would	  always	  be	  in	  effect.	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  7	  PRINCIPLE	  6:	  ENVIRONMENTAL	  IMPACTS	  “Forest	   management	   shall	   conserve	   biological	   diversity	   and	   its	   associated	   values,	   water	  resources,	  soils,	  and	  unique	  and	  fragile	  ecosystems	  and	  landscapes,	  and,	  by	  so	  doing,	  maintain	  the	  ecological	  functions	  and	  the	  integrity	  of	  the	  forest.”	  Principle	   6	   contains	   10	   detailed	   criteria	  with	   numerous	   indicators.	   The	   topics	   covered	   in	   this	  principle	  are	  immensely	  board	  and	  the	  details	  are	  very	  specific.	  The	  first	  of	  which	  requires	  that	  an	   assessment	   of	   environmental	   impacts	   is	   to	   be	   completed,	   according	   to	   the	   local	  circumstances.	   The	   second	   criterion	   covers	   the	   topic	   of	   species	   that	   require	   special	  considerations.	  These	  species	  are	  the	  red-­‐	  and	  blue-­‐listed	  species	  and	  plant	  communities,	  and	  threatened	  and	  endangered	  species.	  Criterion	  6.3	  states	  “ecological	  functions	  and	  values	  shall	  be	   maintained	   intact,	   enhanced	   or	   restored”.	   The	   three	   ecological	   functions	   are:	   forest	  regeneration	   and	   succession;	   genetic,	   species	   and	   ecosystem	   diversity;	   natural	   cycles	   that	  affect	  the	  productivity	  of	  the	  forest	  ecosystem.	  6.4	  requires	  that	  some	  areas	  that	  represent	  the	  natural	  ecosystem	  should	  be	  set	  apart	  in	  each	  BEC	  zone	  and	  be	  protected.	  These	  areas	  are	  also	  to	  be	  mapped.	  The	  establishment	  of	  these	  networks	  are	  carried	  out	  prior	  to	  any	  other	  activities	  take	  place.	  6.5	  outlines	   the	   requirements	   regarding	   soil	   erosion	  and	  damage	   from	  harvesting	  operations,	   as	  well	   as	  water	   resources.	  One	  of	   the	   indicators	   for	   this	   criterion	   states	   that	   all	  streams	  must	  have	  a	  7	  meter	  buffer	  area.	  Criterion	  6.6	  discusses	   the	  use	  of	  chemical	  pesticides.	  The	   types	  of	  pesticides	  outlined	   in	   this	  criterion	   are	   listed	   in	   a	   very	   precise	  manner.	   Areas	   that	   are	   currently	   using	   these	   pesticides	  must	   engage	   in	   a	   phase	  out	   period	   to	   stop	   the	  use	  of	   these	  pesticides.	   The	  disposal	   of	   non-­‐organic	  waste	  is	  the	  topic	  of	  criterion	  6.7.	  Criterion	  6.8	  is	  regarding	  the	  use	  of	  biological	  control	  agents	   and	   prohibiting	   the	   use	   of	   genetically	  modified	   organisms.	   6.9	   states	   that	   the	   use	   of	  exotic	  species	  shall	  be	  carefully	  controlled	  and	  monitored	  to	  avoid	  adverse	  ecological	  impacts.	  The	   final	   criterion	   prohibits	   the	   change	   from	   forest	   land	   to	   non-­‐forest	   land	   or	   plantations,	  unless	  the	  area	  is:	  a	  very	  limited	  portion	  of	  the	  forest	  management	  unit,	  or	  conversion	  does	  not	  occur	   on	   “high	   conservation	   value	   forest	   areas”	   or	   the	   conversion	   will	   enable	   long-­‐term	  conservation	  benefits.	  The	  sixth	  principle	  of	  the	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  shows	  its	  environmental	  commitment	  to	  sustainable	  forest	  management.	  For	  forest	  dependant	  communities,	  several	  of	  the	  criteria	  from	  this	  principle	  are	  would	  be	  considered	  regardless	  of	  interest	  of	  pursuing	  a	  FSC	  certification.	  For	  example,	   criteria	   6.1,	   6.2	   and	   6.3	   would	   all	   be	   included	   as	   a	   part	   of	   a	   sustainable	   forest	  management	  plan,	  which	  may	  not	  necessarily	  be	  prepared	  specifically	  for	  the	  application	  of	  the	  FSC.	   The	   protection	   of	   endangered	   species	   is	   also	   a	   part	   of	   the	   government	   regulation.	   The	  establishment	  of	  protected	  sample	  areas	  can	  be	  challenging	  in	  some	  cases,	  especially	  in	  areas	  where	  getting	  enough	  timber	  volume	  is	   important	  to	  the	   local	  sawmill.	  This	  criterion	  requires	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   8	  potential	   changes	   to	   the	   current	  management	   practices	   on	   several	   occasions,	   and	   this	   could	  result	   in	   additional	   costs	   to	   the	   applicant.	   The	   communities	   interested	   in	   applying	   for	   the	  certification	   would	   comply	   with	   the	   final	   few	   criteria	   regarding	   biological	   control	   and	   waste	  disposal.	  PRINCIPLE	  7:	  MANAGEMENT	  PLAN	  “A	   management	   plan	   -­‐	   appropriate	   to	   the	   scale	   and	   intensity	   of	   the	   operations	   -­‐	   shall	   be	  written,	  implemented,	  and	  kept	  up	  to	  date.	  The	  long-­‐term	  objectives	  of	  management,	  and	  the	  means	  of	  achieving	  them,	  shall	  be	  clearly	  stated.”	  The	  seventh	  principle	  discusses	  the	  management	  plan	  that	  is	  used	  for	  the	  application	  of	  the	  FSC	  certificate.	  The	  management	  plan	  shall	  include	  the	  following	  components:	  a) Management	  objectives.	  b) Description	  of	  the	  forest	  resources	  to	  be	  managed,	  environmental	  limitations,	  land	  use	  and	  ownership	  status,	  socio-­‐economic	  conditions,	  and	  profile	  of	  adjacent	  lands.	  c) Description	  of	  silvicultural	  and/or	  other	  management	  system,	  based	  upon	  the	  ecology	  of	  the	  forest	  in	  question	  and	  information	  gathered	  through	  resource	  inventories.	  d) Rationale	  for	  rate	  of	  annual	  harvest	  and	  species	  selection.	  e) Provisions	  for	  monitoring	  of	  forest	  growth	  and	  dynamics.	  f) Environmental	  safeguards	  based	  on	  environmental	  assessments.	  g) Plans	  for	  the	  identification	  and	  protection	  of	  rare,	  threatened	  and	  endangered	  species.	  h) Maps	   describing	   the	   forest	   resource	   base	   including	   protected	   areas,	   planned	  management	  activities	  and	  land	  ownership.	  i) Description	  and	  justification	  of	  harvesting	  techniques	  and	  equipment	  to	  be	  used.	  In	  the	  management	  plan,	  the	  rationales	  and	  justifications	  for	  each	  indicator	  from	  all	  the	  above	  criteria	  need	  to	  be	  included.	  	  The	  management	  plan	  is	  the	  document	  that	  the	  manager	  would	  provide	   to	   the	   certifying	   party.	   Criterion	   7.2	   states	   that	   the	   management	   plan	   shall	   be	  periodically	   revised	   and	   updated.	   These	   changes	   must	   reflect	   results	   of	   monitoring,	   new	  technical	   information	   and	   new	   social	   and	   economical	   information.	   7.3	   states	   that	   forest	  workers	   must	   have	   adequate	   training	   to	   carry	   out	   the	   management	   plan,	   and	   7.4	   requires	  manager	   to	   disclose	   a	   summary	   of	   the	   primary	   elements	   of	   the	   management	   plan,	   with	  confidentiality	  in	  consideration.	  Having	  a	  management	  plan	  written	  to	  meet	  the	  standard	  of	  the	  FSC	  can	  be	  accomplished	  by	  the	  forest	   manager.	   The	   manager	   would	   be	   familiar	   with	   all	   other	   principles	   of	   the	   FSC.	   If	   the	  community	  chooses	  to	  hire	  a	  professional	  consulting	  firm	  to	  develop	  its	  application	  for	  the	  FSC	  certification,	   the	   firm	  would	  present	   a	  management	  plan	   that	  meet	   the	   requirements	  of	   this	  principle.	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  9	  PRINCIPLE	  8:	  MONITORING	  AND	  ASSESSMENT	  “Monitoring	  shall	  be	  conducted	  –	  appropriate	  to	  the	  scale	  and	  intensity	  of	  forest	  management	  –	  to	  assess	  the	  condition	  of	  the	  forest,	  yields	  of	  forest	  products,	  chain	  of	  custody,	  management	  activities	  and	  their	  social	  and	  environmental	  impacts.”	  This	  principle	  discusses	  the	  requirements	   for	  monitoring	  after	   the	  certifying	  process.	  The	  first	  two	   indicators	   cover	   the	   frequency	   and	   intensity	   of	   the	   monitoring	   process	   and	   which	  indicators	  are	  required	  to	  be	  monitored.	  The	  indicators	  are	  to	  be	  monitored	  are:	  a) yield	  of	  all	  forest	  products	  harvested;	  b) growth	  rates,	  regeneration	  and	  condition	  of	  the	  forest;	  c) composition	  and	  observed	  changes	  in	  the	  flora	  and	  fauna;	  d) environmental	  and	  social	  impacts	  of	  harvesting	  and	  other	  operations;	  e) costs,	  productivity,	  and	  efficiency	  of	  forest	  management.	  These	   monitoring	   goals	   are	   to	   be	   included	   with	   the	   management	   plan.	   Criterion	   8.3	   covers	  “chain	  of	  custody”	  –	  the	  ability	  for	  the	  certifying	  organization	  to	  trace	  each	  from	  product	  from	  its	  origin.	   The	  documentation	  must	   ensure	   that	   the	   chain	  of	   custody	   can	  be	  accessed	  by	   the	  FSC.	   The	   final	   two	   indicators	  are	   similar	   to	   indicators	   from	  principle	   seven.	  The	  management	  plans	  must	  be	  periodically	  updated	  to	  incorporate	  the	  results	  of	  monitoring,	  and	  a	  summary	  of	  the	  monitoring	  results	  must	  be	  disclosed	  to	  the	  public,	  with	  confidentiality	  in	  consideration.	  The	  monitoring	  standards	  set	  by	  the	  FSC	  can	  be	  achieved	  with	  periodic	  surveys	  and	  evaluations.	  The	   scale,	   frequency	  and	   intensity	  of	   the	  monitoring	  activities	  would	  decide	  how	  much	  extra	  cost	  would	  be	  incurred	  to	  the	  community.	  If	  a	  community	  intends	  to	  pursue	  the	  FSC	  certificate,	  it	  should	  be	  prepared	  for	  the	  cost	  of	  monitoring.	  PRINCIPLE	  9:	  MAINTENANCE	  OF	  HIGH	  CONSERVATION	  VALUE	  FORESTS	  “Management	   activities	   in	   High	   Conservation	   Value	   Forests	   shall	   maintain	   or	   enhance	   the	  attributes	  which	  define	  such	  forests.	  Decisions	  regarding	  High	  Conservation	  Value	  Forests	  shall	  always	  be	  considered	  in	  the	  context	  of	  a	  precautionary	  approach.”	  This	  principle	  discusses	  the	  conservation	  of	  high	  conservation	  value	  forests	  (HCVF).	  Criterion	  9.1	  states	   that	   an	   assessment	   to	   determine	   areas	  HCVF	  must	   be	   carried	  out.	   The	  manager	  must	  identify	  the	  conservation	  attributes	  within	  the	  management	  area.	  9.2	  states	  that	  the	  manager	  must	   consult	   directly	  with	   affected	  persons	   to	   identify	   the	   conservation	   attributes.	   The	   third	  criterion	  requires	  all	  specific	  measures	  for	  the	  protection	  of	  the	  high	  conservation	  value	  forests	  to	  be	  documented	  in	  the	  management	  plan.	  These	  conservation	  measures	  must	  be	  included	  in	  the	  publicly	  available	  summary	  of	  the	  management	  plan.	  Finally,	  annual	  monitoring	  of	  the	  HCVF	  must	  be	  conducted	  to	  assess	  the	  effectiveness	  of	  the	  implemented	  measures.	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   10	  Identifying	   high	   conservation	   value	   forests	   and	   setting	   them	   apart	   could	   reduce	   harvesting	  area,	  therefore	  impacting	  the	  operation	  of	  the	  local	  sawmill.	  However,	  this	  may	  not	  always	  be	  the	  case.	  The	  management	  unit	  proposed	  by	  forest	  managers	  in	  Anahim	  Lake	  contains	  portions	  of	   two	  provincial	  parks	  and	  several	  old	  growth	  management	  areas	   (OGMAs).	  These	  areas	  are	  permanently	  off-­‐limits	  to	  logging	  activities	  and	  can	  be	  identified	  as	  the	  high	  conservation	  value	  forests.	  High	  volume	  habitat	  areas	  for	  wildlife	  are	  also	  suitable	  as	  HCVF.	  Annual	  monitoring	  of	  those	  areas	  would	  incur	  some	  costs	  to	  the	  community,	  since	  these	  areas	  would	  initially	  require	  no	  monitoring.	  PRINCIPLE	  10:	  PLANTATIONS	  “Criteria	  1	  -­‐	  9,	  and	  Principle	  10	  and	  its	  Criteria.	  While	  plantations	  can	  provide	  an	  array	  of	  social	  and	  economic	  benefits,	  and	  can	  contribute	  to	  satisfying	  the	  world's	  needs	  for	  forest	  products,	  they	   should	   complement	   the	   management	   of,	   reduce	   pressures	   on,	   and	   promote	   the	  restoration	  and	  conservation	  of	  natural	  forests.”	  The	   vast	   majority	   of	   forest	   management	   and	   forest	   production	   in	   BC	   is	   focused	   on	   natural	  forest	   stands,	   very	   few	   are	   plantation	  managed.	   This	   principle	   does	   not	   greatly	   apply	   to	   the	  forest	  industry	  in	  BC.	  DISCUSSION	  OF	  PRINCIPLES	  The	   ten	   principles	  must	   all	   be	   satisfied	   in	   order	   for	   a	  management	   area	   to	   be	   certified.	   The	  requirement	  of	  many	  criteria	  can	  be	  met	  with	  little	  or	  no	  changes	  in	  the	  current	  management	  activities,	   while	   a	   large	   portion	   of	   the	   criteria	   of	   all	   principles	   can	   be	  met	   with	   a	  moderate	  amount	  of	   change.	  However,	   there	  are	   several	  principles	   that	   could	  be	  challenging	   for	   forest	  depending	   communities	   to	   satisfy.	   For	   communities	   that	   do	   not	   have	   a	   community	   forest	  agreement,	   the	   current	   tenure	   forms	  may	   not	   be	   considered	   “long	   term”	   by	   FSC	   standards;	  therefore,	  they	  must	  achieve	  a	  new	  tenure	  agreement	  with	  the	  province.	  Principles	  that	  require	  the	   establishment	   of	   reserved	   protected	   areas	   can	   also	   be	   challenging	   for	   communities,	  especially	   if	   the	   community	   does	   not	   have	   a	   large	  management	   area.	   Prior	   to	   initiating	   the	  application	   process,	   the	   applicants	   should	   evaluate	   the	   amount	   of	   changes	   to	   current	  management	  practices	  are	  requires	  and	  consider	  how	  these	  changes	  can	  impact	  the	  operations.	  Overall,	  it	  is	  not	  significantly	  difficult	  for	  a	  forested	  community	  in	  BC	  to	  meet	  the	  ten	  principles	  of	  the	  FSC,	  but	  it	  can	  depend	  on	  specific	  circumstances.	  COSTS	  OF	  CERTIFICATION	  There	  are	  both	  direct	  and	  indirect	  costs	  (figure	  1)	  associated	  with	  obtaining	  and	  maintaining	  the	  FSC	  certification.	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2013)	  	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  11	  	  Figure	  1.	  Direct	  and	  indirect	  certification	  costs	  for	  the	  FSC	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2013)	  The	  direct	  cost	  of	  certification	  is	  considered	  as	  sensitive	  information,	  and	  no	  data	  or	  estimates	  for	  the	  cost	  of	  certification	  is	  publically	  available	  in	  BC.	  (Tikina,	  2011)	  There	  are	  several	  factors	  that	   affect	   the	   cost	   of	   certification:	   company	   size,	   type	   of	   tenure	   and	   associated	   tenure	  obligations,	   certification	   system,	   product,	   characteristics	   of	   the	   forest	   management	   and	  auditing	   company.	   (Tikina,	   2011)	   The	   size	   of	   the	   company,	   or	   the	   number	   of	   stakeholders	  involved	   in	   a	   community,	   is	   a	   key	   determinant	   of	   the	   cost	   of	   certification.	   Forested	  communities	  cannot	  enjoy	  the	  same	  economy	  of	  scale	  that	  major	  companies	  in	  BC	  enjoy.	  Long	  term	   tenures	   that	   currently	   comply	   to	  more	   legal	   obligations	   usually	   need	   fewer	   changes	   in	  order	   to	   satisfy	   the	   FSC	   principles.	   The	   FSC	   certification	   places	   emphasis	   on	   environmental	  protection	  and	   indigenous	  people,	   these	  considerations	  would	   incur	  costs	  beyond	  the	  cost	  of	  meeting	   legal	   requirements.	   The	   products	   that	   communities	   product	   can	   influence	   the	  opportunity	   cost	   of	   the	   FSC	   certification.	   Commodity	   products	   that	   are	   certified	   do	   not	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   12	  necessarily	   capture	   price	   premium	   (more	   discussed	   in	   the	   benefits	   section),	   and	   the	   cost	   of	  certification	  cannot	  be	  effectively	  offset.	  The	  characteristics	  of	  current	  management	  activities	  can	   determine	   how	  much	   extra	   cost	   would	   be	   incurred	   if	   a	   community	   chooses	   to	   become	  certified.	  For	  example,	  certain	  silviculture	  systems	  such	  as	  variable	  retention	  could	  potentially	  require	   fewer	   changes	   to	   status	   quo	   in	   order	   to	   meet	   the	   FSC	   certification.	   (Tikina,	   2011)	  Conversely,	  communities	  practicing	  large	  area	  clear	  cuts	  could	  face	  more	  costs	  in	  order	  to	  meet	  the	   environmental	   protection	   requirements	   of	   the	   FSC.	   Finally,	   different	   auditing	   companies	  would	  charge	  different	  rates	  depending	  on	  the	  situation.	  Forested	  communities	  must	  also	  consider	  the	  indirect	  costs	  associated	  with	  forest	  certification.	  These	  are	  costs	  associated	  with	  the	  result	  of	  compliance	  with	  the	  FSC.	  These	  costs	  might	  take	  the	  form	  of:	  • An	   increase	   (or	   establishment)	   of	   reserved	   areas	   that	   are	   off-­‐limits	   to	   harvesting	  activities.	  These	  reserves	  might	  be	  BEC	  zone	  reserves,	  wildlife	  habitat	  areas,	  and	  riparian	  buffers	  • Increased	  instances	  of	  public	  consultation	  • Revisions	  and	  updates	  to	  the	  management	  plan	  on	  a	  more	  frequent	  basis	  For	  communities	  without	  large	  scale	  production	  and	  not	  a	  lot	  of	  employees,	  these	  costs	  can	  add	  up	  over	  time.	  	  BENEFITS	  FROM	  CERTIFICATION	  The	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	   initially	  believed	  that	  by	  becoming	  FSC	  certified,	  all	  producers	  could	  receive	  a	  price	  premium	  over	  non-­‐certified	  products;	  however,	  the	  general	  consensus	  for	  commodity	   products	   (e.g.	   lumber	   and	   pulp)	   is	   that	   there	   is	   no	   price	   premium.	   (Auld,	  Gulbrandsen,	  &	  McDermott,	  2008;	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2013;	  Tikina,	  2011).	  This	  is	  due	  to	   the	   fact	   that	   consumers	   do	   not	   actively	   seek	   certified	   commodity	   products	   in	   the	  marketplace.	   Despite	   of	   this,	   there	   are	   several	   benefits	   that	   could	   motivate	   a	   forested	  community	  to	  pursue	  the	  FSC	  certification.	  	  Market	   access	   is	   the	   major	   benefit	   from	   being	   FSC	   certified.	   Under	   the	   pressure	   of	  environmentalists,	  many	  retailers	  choose	  to	  only	  stock	  certified	  (in	  some	  cases,	  specifically	  FSC	  certified	  products)	  forest	  products.	  FSC	  also	  claims	  that	  having	  the	  certification,	  albeit	  offering	  no	  price	  premium,	   can	  prevent	   	   the	   retailer	   to	   force	   the	  producer	   to	  offer	   the	  product	   for	   a	  discount	  (due	  to	  the	  lack	  of	  certification).	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2013)	  	  Many	  businesses	  use	  FSC	  certified	  products	   to	  meet	   their	   sustainability	  obligation.	  Secondary	  producers	  with	  the	  chain	  of	  custody	  certificate	  would	  be	  willing	  to	  purchase	  fiber	  from	  certified	  communities.	  According	  to	  the	  FSC,	  the	  business-­‐to-­‐business	  demand	  for	  FSC	  products	   is	   four	  The	  Feasibility	  of	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council	  Certification	  for	  Forested	  Communities	  in	  British	  Columbia	  13	  times	   greater	   than	   the	   demand	   for	   SFI/PEFC	   products	   in	   North	   America.	   (figure	   2)	   High-­‐end	  furniture	  made	  with	  FSC	  certified	  wood	  is	  able	  to	  capture	  a	  price	  premium.	  (Tikina,	  2011)	  	  	  Figure	  2.	  Number	  of	  FSC	  Chain	  of	  Custody	  holders	  compared	  to	  other	  standards	  (August	  2011)	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  2013)	  The	  US	  Green	  Building	  Council	  (USGBC)	  is	  the	  organization	  behind	  the	  most	  popular	  sustainable	  building	   standard	   in	   North	   America.	   LEED	   v4	   is	   the	   current	   standard	   and	   its	   popularity	   is	  increasing,	   as	  more	   buildings	   being	   built	   are	   LEED	   certified.	   The	   USGBC	   only	   recognises	   FSC	  certification	  as	  sustainable,	  therefore	  creating	  demand	  for	  FSC	  certified	  forest	  products.	  (Forest	  Stewardship	  Council,	  n.d.)None	  of	  the	  other	  major	  sustainable	  forest	  certifications	  (i.e.	  SFI	  and	  CSA)	  are	  accepted	  by	  LEED.	  The	   FSC	   certification	   also	   offers	   potential	   social	   benefits	   within	   the	   community.	   Relations	  between	   the	   forest	   workers	   and	   the	   public	   could	   be	   improved	   through	   public	   consultation;	  indigenous	  people’s	  knowledge	  would	  be	  compensated.	  	  	   	   Donald	  Wang	  	   	   14	  CONCLUSION	  For	  forest	  communities	   in	  BC,	  obtaining	  a	  FSC	  certification	  could	  be	  a	  feasible	  and	  obtainable	  option.	  It	  especially	  favours	  aboriginal	  communities.	  The	  applicant	  groups	  should	  identify	  their	  goals	  for	  their	  forest	  resources	  and	  evaluate	  if	  these	  goals	  align	  with	  the	  principles	  of	  the	  FSC	  standard.	   If	   the	   potential	   benefits	   from	   being	   certified	   are	   attractive	   to	   the	   community,	   it	  should	  seek	  out	  to	  an	  auditing	  company	  for	  an	  estimate	  of	  the	  direct	  cost	  of	  certification.	  Forest	  managers	  should	  evaluate	  on	  the	  indirect	  costs	   incurred	  by	  the	  certification	  and	  decide	  if	   it	   is	  within	  an	  acceptable	  level.	  Having	  a	  sustainable	  forest	  certification	  can	  assist	  the	  community	  to	  be	   competitive	   in	   future	   market,	   where	   environmental	   concerns	   could	   take	   the	   form	   of	  consumer	  demand.	  Especially	  in	  BC,	  where	  large	  forested	  areas	  are	  currently	  certified	  under	  a	  certification	  scheme.	  References	  Auld,	  G.,	  Gulbrandsen,	  L.	  H.,	  &	  McDermott,	  C.	  L.	  (2008).	  Certification	  Schemes	  and	  the	  Impacts	  on	  Forests	  and	  Forestry.	  Annual	  Review	  of	  Environment	  and	  Resources,	  33(1),	  187–211.	  doi:10.1146/annurev.environ.33.013007.103754	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  (2013).	  Costs	  and	  Benefits	  of	  Forest	  Certification,	  1–9.	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  (2002,	  November	  21).	  FOREST	  STEWARDSHIP	  COUNCIL	  A.C.	  BY-­‐LAWS.	  United	  States	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  Oaxaca.	  Retrieved	  April	  21,	  2015,	  from­‐international-­‐bylaws.a-­‐180.pdf	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  (n.d.).	  FSC	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council®	  ·∙	  LEED	  v4.	  United	  States	  Forest	  Stewardship	  Council.	  Retrieved	  April	  20,	  2015,	  from­‐v4.210.htm	  Humphreys,	  D.	  (2014).	  Forest	  politics:	  the	  evolution	  of	  international	  cooperation.	  Ministry	  of	  Forests,	  M.	  (2010,	  April	  21).	  The	  State	  of	  British	  Columbia’s	  Forests.	  Forest	  Practices	  and	  Investment	  Branch.	  Victoria,	  BC.	  Retrieved	  April	  21,	  2015,	  from	  Province	  of	  BC.	  (n.d.).	  History	  of	  Community	  Forests.	  Synnott,	  T.	  (2005,	  November).	  Some	  notes	  on	  the	  early	  years	  of	  FSC.	  Retrieved	  April	  21,	  2015,	  from­‐on-­‐the-­‐early-­‐years-­‐of-­‐fsc.a-­‐798.pdf	  Tikina,	  A.	  (2011).	  Why	  Certify?	  The	  Cost	  of	  Forest	  Certification	  in	  BC.	  BC	  FOREST	  PROFESSIONAL.	  Association	  of	  BC	  Forest	  Professionals.	  	  


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