Tuesday, 13 December 2011
FSC Canada Update on the Transfer of FSC Certified Forest Management Tenures in Quebec
Commencing April 1st, 2013, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife (MRNF) in Quebec will be taking over responsibility for the forest management of public lands in Quebec. Roughly 25 million hectares of those lands are currently FSC certified. The MRNF has clearly stated its intention to maintain all FSC FM certificates that are in place by the end of 2012.
In August 2011, FSC Canada circulated for review a draft Forest Management (FM) Certificate Transfer Protocol applicable to Quebec. As of the close of the comment period in September 2011, one submission was received. The draft Protocol currently proposes that certifiers will transfer the FSC certificates to the MRNF in 2013 following the annual surveillance audit including the assessment of compliance against FSC Criterion 1.5, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 4.4, 5.6, 6.2, 6.3, 6.9, 8.2 and 9.4. At the FSC Canada Annual General Assembly in October 2011, a motion was tabled and passed by the membership pertaining to the Transfer of FSC FM certificates in Quebec.
The motion, presented by Wolf Lake First Nation, seconded by National Aboriginal Forestry Association states “FSC Canada shall establish a Quebec regional working group process with participation from FSC Canada, Quebec government, FSC certifiers, FSC certified companies and interested First Nations, as soon as possible, to clarify the obligations and responsibilities of the Quebec government and FSC certified forestry companies to First Nations in order to ensure continued compliance with FSC Principle 3 in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence and Boreal FSC Regional Standards prior to the Quebec Sustainable Forest Development Act taking effect on April 1, 2013.”
FSC Canada will soon invite discussions with representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife - Quebec, First Nations and FSC stakeholders regarding the implementation of the motion. The objective of those discussions is to ensure that an orderly, effective, efficient and credible process is implemented that respects the roles and responsibilities of FSC Canada, FSC International, Conformity Assessment Bodies (certifiers) and certificate holders.
At present, the Forest Management Certificate Transfer Protocol, Draft 2, dated August 15, 2011 represents the active FSC Canada guidance on this matter. If you have questions or comments, please contact Valerie Courtois, E: ]firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 709-899-0578