Editorial changes to enhance program understanding and consistency
Since its inception the SFI program was intended as a program that
can be adapted to many types of forestry operations. That said, the
breadth and depth of the program clearly are more applicable in larger
corporate settings than on small non-industrial ownerships. Building
on a mutual recognition agreement with the American Tree Farm System®
– a standard specifically designed for smaller non-industrial owners
– the program added needed flexibility to ensure that the Standard
is appropriately adapted to the scope and scale of the operation.
For example, it is common for large integrated companies to use sophisticated
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to aid in resource analysis and
planning. Such technology may not be readily available to organizations
with just a few employees and little or no land ownership.
Program Reach or Intent
To ensure a common understanding and to further reinforce SFI’s intent
to “build upon” forestry and environmental laws and regulations,
a sixth overarching principle – legal compliance – has been added.
Similarly, the SFI program has always encompassed the three prongs
of sustainability – environmental protection, social responsibility
and economic viability. We continue to believe that the market place
is the best judge of economic viability. The primary focus of SFI
has been on environmental compatibility of sound forestry operations.
Social responsibility has always been a key component of all aspects
of SFI from the programs’ inception. We have reinforced this commitment
by formally addressing social responsibility in the SFIS. These changes
speak to the commitment of SFI to set clear and unequivocal measures
for SFI Program Participants and for those who look to the Standard
as an assurance of quality forest management.
To promote consistency of application across the system, Core Indicators
formerly applied only to third-party certifications, are now applicable
for all Program Participants.
Since its inception in 1994, the SFI program has been opened on an
almost annual basis for program changes and enhancements. While such
was necessary in the early days of the program, at this stage of maturity
and given the expansive reach of the program, annual changes can be
highly disruptive to Program Participants trying to implement changes.
Thus, with the adoption of these changes the SFB is instituting a
planned review cycle that will retain one of the SFI program’s foundational
commitments to “continual improvement” to build on new scientific
information. The next round of reviews and calls for public comment
will be in 2004 with the SFB adopting any necessary program enhancements
in the fall of 2004 for implementation beginning on January 1, 2005.
Some of the more recognizable and significant changes are as follows:Site