Forests are universally cited as an essential nature-based solution because forests and forest products provide a significant opportunity to counter the impacts of climate change by sequestering and storing carbon and by buffering the impacts of climate hazards. Certification programs such as SFI, act as a driving force in addressing climate change impacts through sound, science-based natural resource management. Through SFI standards, more forests are sustainably managed, which means more effort is put into conserving healthy wildlife, providing clean water, and making more sustainable wood, paper, and packaging products available for consumers and companies.
SFI collaborated with Natural Resource Canada, the Saskatchewan Research Council, and Forest Products Association of Canada to undertake Phase 1 of the “Canadian Forest Carbon Assessment.” Accounting and reliably estimating carbon stocks and fluxes across SFI’s footprint allows for long-term planning, management, and made a case for “Climate Smart Forestry” being a key component of the revised and updated forest management standard.
SFI concluded that standard revisions should include objectives in the following two key themes:
- Climate Smart Forestry: Climate change and the need for responsible action to mitigate impacts, are driving resource managers, manufacturers and brand owners toward clear and measurable climate change policy and action. SFI should work to ensure that forest management and fiber-based supply chains are optimized as an effective nature-based solution for climate change and has implemented a new objective focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Fire Resilience and Awareness: Shifts in climate are generating wildfires of increased intensity, frequency and destruction. Undesirable impacts include threatened public safety, human health, property damage, diminished air quality, loss of species habitat, and increased atmospheric carbon. The scale and severity of fires in recent years has resulted in loss of forests and their inherent values at an unprecedented scale. Sustainable forest management reduces the risk of these undesirable impacts of wildfire.