OTTAWA, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Almost one million hectares of forestland at Lake Nipigon Forest have been successfully third party certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Standard. The forestlands are managed by Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. (LNFMI), who is responsible for planning, reporting and implementing all forest operations. LNFMI is comprised of four First Nations-owned business trusts in Red Rock, Ontario, including the Animbiigoosagagun Economic Development Trust, the Red Rock First Nation Business Trust, the Papasay Management Corporation and the Biinjtiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek Development Corporation.
The addition of Lake Nipigon's lands brings the total amount of land held or managed by First Nations groups certified to the SFI Standard to 2.75 million hectares (6.8 million acres) involving more than 30 First Nations bands in Canada and the Yakama Tribe in Washington State.
"We are excited Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. has certified their lands to the SFI forest management Standard and have demonstrated their commitment to responsible forest management for current and future generations," said SFI Board member, Chief David Walkem.
"As stewards of the land, it is important for us to respect the forest and what it provides while keeping an eye to ensuring we have continued benefit from the land well into the future," said Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc. President, Theresa Nelson. "It is our hope that in achieving this milestone of SFI certification for the Lake Nipigon Forest we will inspire other First Nations communities and organizations to demonstrate their commitment to sustaining the land long-term."
"This has been an incredibly successful year for SFI not only in the amount of land certified, but also in our level of engagement with First Nations people," said SFI President and CEO, Kathy Abusow. "From holding our standard revisions workshops in communities across North American, including seeking direct input from First Nations and Tribes, to establishing an MOU with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we continually seek ways to build meaningful relationships and improve the SFI program."
For more information about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's work with First Nations groups, visit: http://www.sfiprogram.org/community-conservation/indigenous-communities/
About Sustainable Forestry Initiative
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, more than 240 million acres/more than 100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI/.
SOURCE: Sustainable Forestry Initiative