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Opportunities for Protecting One Million Hectares in FSC Certified Forests

Kingfisher Lake, FSC Designated Conservation Land candidate site © Kristen Setala

The Opportunity

Ontario Nature has identified an opportunity to work with the forestry industry, Indigenous communities, local communities, and environmental organizations to permanently protect over one million hectares of land in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.

Boreal forest

FSC Certification

  • Sustainably managed forests protect ecosystems, Indigenous peoples’ homelands, and economic prosperity for forestry-dependent communities.
  • FSC is an international certification and labeling system that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.
  • As part of the FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard of Canada, FSC-certified forestry companies must ensure at least 10 percent of their managed forests are set aside for protection. This can be through provincially or federally protected areas, or as designated conservation lands that the companies identify.
  • Once designated conservation lands have been identified, forestry companies must work within their “sphere of influence” (e.g., relationships with Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and governments) to seek the permanent protection of these sites.
Dune forest © Noah Cole

FSC Designated Lands Infographic

Designated Conservation Lands

  • Over 140 designated conservation lands have been identified through FSC certification in Ontario. They encompass more than 1 million hectares.
  • The processes used to identify these lands are scientifically rigorous and require the meaningful engagement of affected Indigenous communities. That makes them easy wins for protection.
  • Estimates from our carbon storage assessments of Ontario’s designated conservation lands suggest that collectively these sites store over 400 million tonnes of carbon.
  • Designated conservation lands are identified based on conservation values such as connectivity, species at risk habitat, carbon storage and the site’s cultural significance.
Wabakimi Provincial Park, D'Alton Block © Vern Fish

FSC Designated Conservation Lands

Nature-based Climate Solutions

Hick Lake © Kristen Setala

What We’re Doing

Nabish Lake wetlands © Kristen Setala

What You Can Do

Red pines © Brett Whaley CC BY-NC 2.0

Key Principles of the FSC Standard infographic, The Forest Stewardship Council is an international certification system that encourages environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world's forests.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of:

Government of Canada logo
Metcalf Foundation logo
RBC Tech for Nature logo