National Risk Assessment

The Forest Stewardship Council is proud to announce the launch of Canada’s Controlled Wood National Risk Assessment, helping to provide consistent, transparent and credible application of the FSC Controlled Wood standard and policies.

After three years of consultation with industry, environment, social stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples, the new Risk Assessment assess risks associated with undesirable forestry activities on non-FSC certified lands, including illegal harvest, forest management that violates workers or Indigenous Peoples’ rights or threatens High Conservation Values, conversion of forest to non-forest uses, and use of genetically-modified trees.

Transition to the National Risk Assessment

Canada’s National Risk Assessment Approval Date: June 26, 2019

The FSC National Risk Assessment for Canada becomes effective as of June 26, 2019 and all Certificate Holders sourcing non-certified materials must adapt their systems to the National Risk Assessment by December 26, 2019.

Version 2 of the National Risk Assessment

A new version (V2-0) of the National Risk Assessment has been approved, and includes changes to risk designations for Controlled Wood Category 4 (Wood from forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use).

Controlled Wood Category 4 (conversion to non-forest use) has been revised based on updated information which assesses conversion of natural forests at a more refined scale (‘Reconciliation Unit’). The results of the assessment for Indicator 4.1 conclude 3 areas of Specified Risk in Canada:

  • Quebec Mixedwood Plains
  • Alberta Boreal Plains
  • British Columbia Boreal Plains

Version 2-0 is in effect as of November 5, 2019. Certificate Holders will have 6 months (May 5, 2020) to incorporate the changes from V1-0 to V2-0.

tools & resources


This file shows the results of the FSC Canada NRA by Category and Indicator for the entire country. Users are able to turn layers on and off to visualize risk designations for individual or multiple NRA Indicators. This file also includes a layer depicting the total number of Specified Risk areas across the country.

Note: If you are unsure how to turn on/off the layers, please read this.

Software required: Adobe Acrobat

Shapefiles for Indicators 3.1, 3.2, 4.1

This folder includes the GIS shapefiles and accompanying files for Indicators 3.1, 3.2 and 4.1. These files allow users to analyze the results of the NRA using their own GIS software.

Software required: GIS software (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS, etc.)

Download the files here.

Google Earth Specified Risk Indicators by Province

This folder includes 13 files that show the Specified Risk areas for each province and territory. Users are able to manipulate the map by zooming in and out, and are able to identify the Specified Risk areas by clicking on any part of map.

Software required: Google Earth

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