Newsletter Stories

Thursday, 01 August 2002
FSC-U.S. Board Members Profile

This is the second article in the FSC-U.S. News and Views series featuring FSC-U.S. board members and their organization’s support of FSC. The FSC-U.S. board is comprised of nine elected members, three from each of the three FSC chambers: economic, environmental, and social.

  • Mark Comolli is President of ForestWorld, a member of the FSC economic chamber.
  • Philip Guillery is Forestry Director at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a member of the FSC social chamber.
  • Kate Heaton is Senior Forestry Specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a member of the FSC environmental chamber.

How do the goals of the FSC fit in with the goals of your organization or company?

MC: FSC is the gold standard in forest certification, with the balanced approach of environmental, social and economic interests, which matches the values of the mission of ForestWorld.

KH: NRDC believes FSC is the most environmentally credible forest certification program in existence, with the toughest standards and procedures for commercial forestry. FSC certification is a complement to traditional advocacy techniques for protecting forests in perpetuity. For forests that are appropriate for management, FSC is the best approach to ensure that environmental, social, and economic interests are met.

PG: The Community Forestry Resource Center at IATP fosters sustainable rural communities. An important part of this is helping private landowners gauge whether they practice sustainable forestry. FSC sets a framework for this and helps rural communities stay on the land by helping them get value and recognition out of good management practices.

How did you first get involved with FSC?

MC: I was the Marketing Manager for North America at SmartWood, which put me at the forefront of issues and conflicts with the forest products industry in the US and Canada.

KH: In graduate school I studied ecology in relation to sustainable forest management. After working for the EPA on international forestry and climate change issues, I became the Associate Director of the SmartWood certification program from 1992-1997 because of a desire to promote sustainable forest management. In this capacity, I helped pioneer the certification movement.

PG: I was working on social forestry issues in the tropics and saw firsthand that that FSC certification could be a way for communities to demonstrate that they are practicing responsible forestry and be recognized for it in the marketplace.

What do you plan to achieve while on the FSC-U.S. board?

MC: My background in the forest products industry and certification can help focus and drive forward the FSC in the North American marketplace.

KH: NRDC is seeking to maintain FSC as the most credible forest certification program in existence and as a tool to leverage improvements in forest management nationally and internationally. We see it as a very effective means of promoting improvement in forest management.

PG: To help FSC to be a strong institution in the U.S. The organization needs to maintain board members who can dedicate the time, energy and resources that are required of them. Fortunately, my organization is willing to support my time working as a board member.