The overall health of the world’s forests continues to be a concern, and the best path to sustainable forest management is often hotly debated. How do we maintain our forestland while simultaneously meeting the current demand for wood and paper products?
In the United States, more than one-third of forests are family-owned. That number rises in the Southeastern U.S., where nearly 60 percent of forestland is owned by small landowners. Although often overlooked, protecting these small forests actually has the potential to exponentially affect forest health on a much larger scale. That’s why small landowners play a critically important role and why we believe it is so important to empower them to certify their land through a recognized third-party organization such as the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). The certification empowerment process teaches landowners how to sustainably manage their land, ensuring it remains economically viable without compromising forest health. In short, ensuring forests remain forests for future generations to enjoy.
Forest certification systems help protect the services present in a healthy forest, such as carbon sequestration, water quality and rich biodiversity. They set the standard for responsible forest management, helping to protect forests and encourage on-the-ground collaboration between companies, landowners and environmental NGOs.