FSC updates forestry standards targeting threatened species, Indigenous rights

The Forest Stewardship Council has launched a major update to its forestry standards that targets issues like threats to woodland caribou and the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The FSC is one of the main organizations the industry uses to certify that its products meet a level of environmental, social and management standards.

FSC Canada president Francois Dufresne says the update comes after extensive consultations as the industry faces some of the most important issues in forest management history.

The new standards endorse more stringent protections for the threatened woodland caribou, free and prior consent from Indigenous communities as well as stronger worker rights on issues like gender equity.

The standards come as the forestry industry struggles with log supply issues in some regions as insect infestations, forest fires, and environmental protections cut into the available wood.

FSC has certified over 50 million hectares in Canada, while the Canadian Standards Association and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative make up the rest of the roughly 170 million certified hectares in the country.