Newsletter Stories

Tuesday, 01 January 2002
The Nature Conservancy Joins FSC

FSC is pleased to announce that The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has joined the environmental chamber of the FSC membership. The move solidifies the 50-year old organization’s commitment to responsible forest practices around the world. The mission of TNC is to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and the waters they need to survive.

To date, the Conservancy and its approximately one million members have been responsible for the conservation of more than 12 million acres in the United States. It owns more than 1,400 preserves in the country, making it the largest private system of nature sanctuaries in the world. TNC joins other leading environmental groups in the FSC membership, including World Wildlife Fund, The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

TNC and FSC — Previous Success in the South TNC spearheads the Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project in northern Belize. Over the next 40 years, Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) is expected to avoid or mitigate an estimated 2.4 million tons of carbon emissions through responsible forest management and the prevention of deforestation. In 1997, FSC-accredited certifiers SmartWood and Soil Association each certified the 240,000 acre forest where the project is located for responsible forest management. TNC and Programme for Belize (PfB) now manage the area to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable development in Belize. PfB, TNC’s regional counterpart organization, owns the RBCMA. The property is a mixed lowland, moist sub-tropical broadleaf forest typical for the region. For the past 150 years, several private owners, including Coca Cola Foods, Inc., heavily logged the lands for mahogany and cedar.

PfB practices management regimes to enhance regeneration of mahogany. Long-term research is underway into the creation of artificial canopy gaps downwind of mahogany seed trees to promote seedling growth. As research becomes available, appropriate modifications of general management practices will be integrated into their FSC-certified forest management plan.