FSC Canada now has regional activity in the Maritimes, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and the Yukon. There is presently an endorsed standard for the Maritimes, and drafts in B.C. and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. A complex project for a national standard for the Boreal forest is now underway impacting 8 provinces and 2 territories — totaling 35% of Canada’s land area.
Almost all of the major forest companies have had some involvement in standards development across the regions or at the national level. In anticipation of the completion of regional standards, many have begun certification scoping activities. FSC certification provides the best communications tool for companies to prove that the forest management program they have in place meets their own management expectations, as well as those of their customers and the various diverse interest groups directly concerned about or dependent upon the forest. FSC is the one and only place in Canada where all diverse views come to the table to discuss forestry issues. We want to foster and create the “FSC standards forum" as “the Place" to share concerns and reconcile issues of forest management. The critical challenge is achieving balance and bringing out the strengths of our economic, environmental, social, and First Nations partners. Our success will lead to discovering the best alternatives, not the weakest. Our focus will continue to be keeping all of our interest groups at the table while building innovative standards for the future of Canada’s forests.
We asked Jim what his favorite forest to visit is. Here’s what he said: The Great Lake St. Lawrence forest of central Ontario, in which I have spent most of the summer vacations during my life. Last month Lorne Johnson, the coordinator of the Great Lakes Regional Standards, visited and noticed something interesting about our 150x150ft piece of land. We actually have 11 of the 14 species of trees that characterize this type of forest on our little plot, complete with the bugs, birds, and associated wildlife. My own version of “peace in the woods."
Jim McCarthy, Ph.D., gained his expertise in strategic planning, communications, organizational development, stakeholder consultation and business management through his extensive work in international and national standards development, for non-profit and trade organizations. Previous to working for FSC Canada, he held senior positions in Standards Development and Certification at the Canadian Standards Association.