I’m Kathy Abusow, president & CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. This is my first blog, and I’m excited about its prospects. I’m looking forward to discussing the issues facing forestry today and also to engaging in a dialogue with visitors, not only about certification and sustainability, but how they can be active participants in the health of our forests.
I have always had a great appreciation for the beauty of the forests. We love them for the recreation, environmental and spiritual benefits they bring to our lives. At the same time, they provide important products for our every day lives – products like lumber for our homes, paper for the books we read and packaging for some of our favorite products. But it’s critical that our forests are managed in a way that preserves their abundance for future generations. That is what the SFI Program is about and I am proud to be leading it.
Across North America, there are 150 million acres (60 million hectares) certified to the SFI standard, meaning these forests are being managed to conserve wildlife habitat, species at risk, water quality and much more. It also means that the environment is being protected and trees are being replanted in areas that were harvested.
SFI and other forest certification standards have helped stimulate tremendous progress in managing our forests. But we still have a long way to go. Only 10% of the world’s forestland is certified. We need to raise that amount ever year. Businesses and consumers can do their part by purchasing forest products that come from certified forests.
So, that is my first post. Please feel free to comment and/or send me questions!