Small & Community Forest Standard Revision

To help Small and Community forests attain FSC certification, we are modifying requirements for Small and Low Intensity Managed Forests and for Community Forests that take into account the size, the intensity and the capacity of these operations.

Public Consultation #2: May 26 – July 26

FSC Canada is currently developing a streamlined standard for smallholders and community forests based on FSC’s new National Forest Management Standard and is looking for comments on the new draft.

The draft requirements follow the basic forest management certification requirements but have important procedural differences and take into account the size and intensity of these operations. For example, the new smallholder requirements include:

  • overall reduction in the number of indicators
  • reduced requirements for conservation areas networks
  • a modified approach to obtain Free, prior and informed consent for smallholders
  • simpler administration processes
  • a reduction in the number of external reviews needed

Provide comments on the draft

  • Download the draft standard
  • Download the comment form
  • Return the comment form to: Elaine Marchand at e.marchand at ca.fsc point org by July 26, 2020


Why develop the indicators?

In 2019, FSC Canada launched its new Forest Management Standard which does not have requirements for small-scale, low intensity, and community forests. Developing these requirements will help ensure that these forests can continue to be FSC certified under the new rules as well as provide better access to FSC certification.

The new standard will include scale, intensity and risk indicators that will apply to:

  • Community forests
  • Low intensity forests
  • Small-scale forests.

How are the requirements being developed?

FSC Canada initiated the development process in 2013 to explore possible requirements for small scale, low intensity and community forests. A first draft of scale, intensity and risk indicators were developed based on the first draft of the forest management standard which was released for a 60 day public consultation period in 2016. However, during the revision of the forest management standard a number of changes took place from draft to draft which made it difficult to adapt scale, intensity and risk indicators in a cohesive manner and thus the work was postponed to once the final forest management standard was complete.

Who will develop the requirements?

FSC Canada assembled an eight person Standards Development Group, to support the development of a National Forest Management Standard with common indicators. The Standards Development Group was assembled with representation across chambers (Aboriginal Peoples, Social, Environmental and Economic), with an equal number of people in each chamber and consideration for regional representation, gender balance and diversity of experience.

Aboriginal Chamber
Peggy Smith Ontario
Chris Craig Ontario
Social Chamber
Solange Nadeau New Brunswick/Quebec
Nicloas Blanchette Quebec
Economic Chamber
Chris McDonell Ontario
Brenda Hopkin British Columbia
Environmental Chamber
Dave Pearce Ontario

Previous Process

Public Consultation #1: August 2 to September 5, 2016

As part of the national Forest Management Standard revision process, FSC Canada developed indicators for small-scale, low intensity, and community forests.

These indicators were not finalized but this draft served to open the door to stakeholders and Aboriginal communities to provide input to ensure all indicators are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound


Regional webinars were held in August 2016 for reviewers to ask further questions about the draft indicators and to tell FSC Canada what aspects of them may need further consideration given their regional contexts.

  • Western Canada (formerly BC Small Operators Standard)
    August 16, 2016, 8:00 am – 10:00 am PDT
  • Ontario/Quebec (formerly GLSL SLIMF indicators)
    August 18, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EDT
  • Quebec (in French)
    August 23, 2016, 11:00 am- 1:00 pm EDT
  • Maritimes (formerly Maritimes SLIMF standard)
    August 25, 2016, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ADT

Regional Workshops

FSC Canada organized targeted consultation of a draft 2 of the Standard through 3 regional workshops during fall 2019 and early 2020.

  • Belleville, Ontario: October 23, 2019
  • Truro, Nova Scotia: December 12, 2019
  • Quebec City, Quebec: January 22, 2020

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