Illegal logging is a critical international issue, one that represents a major concern for buyers of forest products. Illegal logging undermines good forest governance, threatens biodiversity, increases carbon emissions, and reduces the potential for forests to provide stable supplies of products and support local communities.
Private and public procurement policies are increasingly requiring proof that forest products are derived from known and legal sources. These include actions such as the amended United States Lacey Act and the European Union Timber Regulation, both of which prohibit the trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products. Third-party forest certification programs like SFI are recognized tools to demonstrate due care/due diligence as they show that a company has taken proactive steps to avoid illegal forest products through its supply chain.
EDUCATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
While forests certified to the SFI Standard exist only in the U.S. and Canada where there is negligible risk of illegal logging, and while 98% of the fiber sourced by SFI Program Participants for their North American facilities comes from the U.S. or Canada, the SFI program takes significant steps to promote legal and responsible forest management and procurement worldwide. The SFI 2015-2019 Standards and Rules require SFI Program Participants to comply with applicable federal, provincial, state and local laws and regulations and to conduct a risk assessment to avoid controversial sources and fiber from illegal logging, regardless of the country or region of origin.
The SFI program supports activities by international experts working together to find ways to address the problem of illegal logging. The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program supports projects that foster partnerships to improve forest management in North America and procurement globally. In 2010, grants were awarded to the World Resources Institute (WRI) to create the Forest Legality Risk Information Tool and to Forest Trends to host the fourth Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging & Associated Trade in May 2011. SFI Inc. is a member of the Forest Legality Alliance, a joint effort of WRI and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) aimed at reducing illegal logging by encouraging the supply of legal forest products. The international, multi-stakeholder initiative is supported by the United States Agency for International Development and stakeholders in the forest sector.