MISSOURI/December 15, 2017 (STL.News) – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently announced that 653,428 acres of state land have been certified to one of the world’s most recognized, independent, third-party forest management certification standards, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard.
“Certification to SFI considers all aspects of our forest management process – from our actions taken in the woods to the paperwork we keep in our files,” said MDC State Forester Lisa Allen. “We are extremely proud to achieve this certification, which means we have outside validation that we are properly managing our forest resources to assure their health and sustainability.”
SFI’s 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard is based upon principles, goals and performance measures that were developed nationally by professional foresters, conservationists and others with the intention of promoting sustainable forest management in North America. SFI and its many partners work together to balance environmental, economic and social objectives such as conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, harvesting forest products, protecting water quality, providing forest industry jobs and developing recreational opportunities. The SFI Forest Management Standard is also the only standard that requires participants to support forestry research.
“The Missouri Department of Conservation joins other progressive organizations that are demonstrating their leadership and transparency by certifying their lands to the SFI Forest Management Standard,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “It is especially important to differentiate the responsible actors who are managing forests to maintain conservation values, sustain communities, and support responsible supply chains given that forest products are traded internationally. In other nations there are high risks of illegal logging and forest products are coming under increasing scrutiny.”
Successfully achieving certification to the SFI Standard positions MDC as a sustainability leader because certification provides assurances of responsible practices across the forest products supply chain. Working together, SFI and MDC can make connections between sustainable forestry work and important conservation outcomes including clean water and biodiversity. Broadening the practice of responsible forestry and expanding the understanding and connection between forests and communities helps make the link between well-managed forests and the public benefits that affect all of us every day.
As part of its certification, MDC will be required to undergo annual surveillance audits as well as full certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard every five years. The audits are conducted by an independent, accredited third-party certification body, and audit summaries are posted on the SFI website at sfiprogram.org/forest_certification_audits_reports.cfm.
About the Missouri Department of Conservation
The Missouri Department of Conservation protects and manages Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife resources. MDC also facilitates public participation in resource-management activities, and provides opportunities for people to use, enjoy and learn about nature. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov.
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative®(SFI) is a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. SFI® is an independent, non-profit organization that provides supply chain assurances, produces conservation outcomes, and supports education and community engagement. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities. SFI standards and on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. Additionally, they oversee the SFI Forest Partners® Program, which aims to increase supply of certified forest products, the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which funds research and community building, and Project Learning Tree®, which educates teachers and youth about forests and the environment. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social, and economic sectors equally. SFI believes caring for forests improves everyone’s quality of life. Learn more: sfiprogram.org.