After an 18-month public review, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc. has released a new standard that upgrades the organization’s support and promotion of sustainable forest management in North America and responsible fiber sourcing worldwide. The SFI 2010-2014 Standard took effect on Jan. 1, 2010, and program participants have one year to implement the changes, according to SFI.
Adding five additional principles to the previous SFI 2005-2009 standard, the latest revision is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.
The new SFI standard, which supports an independent certification program, includes revisions that improve the conservation of biodiversity in North America and offshore, address emerging issues such as climate change and bioenergy, and expand requirements for logger training and certified logger programs.
It also strengthens SFI’s fiber sourcing requirement, broadening the practice of sustainable forestry in North America, and adds new principles for responsible procurement practices to avoid illegal offshore fiber.
More than 180 million acres (73 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard in North America, which makes it the largest single standard in the world, according to SFI.
The standard also has 20 objectives, 39 performance measures and 114 indicators, which is up from 13 objectives, 34 performance measures, and 102 indicators in the previous version. To be certified, forest operations must be third-party audited by independent and accredited certification bodies, says SFI.
To date, the forest carbon market has been worth about $150 million, according to a recent study.