What is SFI?
The Sustainable Forestry Initiatives (SFI) Forest management standard includes a comprehensive system of principles, objectives and performance measures developed by foresters, conservationists and scientists that when put into practice, ensures forests are being managed in a sustainable manner. The standard is based on a set of core principles that address economic, environmental, cultural and legal factors, as well as a commitment to continual improvement.
The Maritime Canada SFI Implementation Committee (MSIC) promotes and fosters understanding of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and encourages the implementation of sustainable forestry practices to wood suppliers, landowners and the public through auditing and continuing eduation.
The SFI standard is based on 15 Principles of Sustainable Forestry. Together the SFI principles are designed to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value. These standards apply to organizations that manage lands in either Canada or the United States. As written in the SFI Standards and Rules document, these Principles include:
- Sustainable Forestry – To practice sustainable forestry means meeting the needs of the present while promoting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic that integrates reforestation and the managing, growing, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products, and for the provision of ecosystem services such as the conservation of soil, air and water quality and quantity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitats, recreation and aesthetics.
- Forest Productivity and Health – To provide for regeneration after harvest, maintain the health and productive capacity of the forest land base, and to protect and maintain long-term soil health and productivity. In addition, to protect forests from economically, environmentally or socially undesirable impacts of wildfire, pests, diseases, invasive species and other damaging agents and thus maintain and improve long-term forest health and productivity.
- Protection of Water Resources – To protect and maintain the water quality and quantity of water bodies and riparian areas, and to conform with forestry best management practices to protect water quality, to meet the needs of both human communities and ecological systems.
- Protection of Biological Diversity – To manage forests in ways that protect and promote biological diversity, including animal and plant species, wildlife habitats, ecologically and culturally important species, threatened and endangered species (i.e., Forest with Exceptional Conservation Values) and native forest cover types at multiple scales.
- Aesthetics and Recreation – To manage the visual impacts of forest operations, and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.
- Protection of Special Sites – To manage lands that are geologically or culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities.
- Legal Compliance – To comply with applicable federal, provincial, state, and local forestry and related environmental laws, statutes, and regulations.
- Research – To support advances in sustainable forest management through research, science, and technology.
- Training and Education – To improve the practice of sustainable forestry through training and education programs.
- Community Involvement and Social Responsibility, and Respect for Indigenous Rights – To broaden the practice of sustainable forestry on all lands through community involvement, socially responsible practices, and through recognition and respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional forest-related knowledge.
- Transparency – To broaden the understanding of forest certification to the Forest Management Standard by documenting certification audits and making the findings publicly available.
- Continual Improvement – To continually improve the practice of forest management, and to monitor, measure and report performance in achieving the commitment to sustainable forestry.
- Responsible Fiber Sourcing – To use and promote sustainable forestry across a diversity of ownership and management types in the United States and Canada that is both scientifically credible and socially, environmentally, and economically responsible and to avoid sourcing from controversial sources both domestically and internationally.
To learn more about the SFI forest management program, please visit SFI’s website or you can go back to our main menu and find the SFI Inc. website under SFI INC.