Woodlot Certification Contributes to Sustainable Prosperity

Natural Resources/Economic Development (to Jan 09)

September 29, 2008 2:27 PM

Forestry operators will be able to supply new markets and verify the sustainability of their forestry practices with a new certification program for eastern Nova Scotia woodlot owners.

The contract for the program was signed today, Sept. 29, in Port Hawkesbury by Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac and members of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association.

Over four years, $850,000 will be provided as part of the province's $1.5-million investment to support woodlot certification.

Through the voluntary program, the association will provide independently owned woodlots with forest management plans and training that meet the Maritime Forest Stewardship Council standard. The certification program is supported by environmental groups and will identify certified products from uncertified ones, creating greater access to new markets.

"This is a progressive and collective approach to woodlot management," said Natural Resources Minister David Morse. "Independent woodlot certification programs are part of a global trend in the forest products market and are an important part of the action plan."

The investment in woodlot certification is part of the $2.52 million in funding from the Community Development Trust Fund announced last week for the joint task force action plan for forestry. The forestry industry employs about 16,000 Nova Scotians and has export values of almost $800 million.

"This program builds on the action plan; it will expand community capacity and enhance our competitiveness," said Mr. MacIsaac. "Creating a vibrant forestry sector is also aligned with the province's economic growth strategy, Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity."

There are 33,000 small-woodlot owners in Nova Scotia. Certification has been challenging because of costs.

"There's nothing like this certification program, in scope and scale, anywhere in the world," said Wilma Stubb, executive director of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association. "This program for private woodlot owners strengthens landowner markets and the competitiveness of our mills, while providing forest sustainability to the most rigid standard in the world."

The Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association was created in 1979 and is a private non-profit organization of thousands of woodlot owners and forest-fibre producers in the seven eastern counties. It is registered under provisions of the Nova Scotia Primary Forest Products Marketing Act and represents all producers selling to the NewPage mill in Port Hawkesbury.

The Community Development Trust Fund is designed to help communities that are experiencing severe economic hardship. The fund's priorities are to enhance sustainable prosperity, diversify economic and trade opportunities, improve productivity, innovation and training, assist communities with transition planning, and help workers facing adjustment challenges.

For a summary of the forestry joint task force recommendations and action plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/forestry . For more information on the Community Development Trust in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cdtrust .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Forestry operators can supply new markets and verify the

sustainability of their forestry practices with a new

certification program for eastern Nova Scotia woodlot owners.

     The contract for the program was signed today (September

29th) in Port Hawkesbury by Economic Development Minister Angus

MacIsaac and members of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest

Fibre Producers Association.

     Over four years, $850,000 will be provided as part of the

province's $1.5 million investment to support woodlot

certification.

     Through the program, the association will provide

independently owned woodlots with forest management plans and

training that comply with the Maritime Forest Stewardship Council

standard.

     Mr. MacIsaac said creating a vibrant forestry sector is also

aligned with the province's economic growth strategy,

Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity.

     There are 33,000 small-woodlot owners in Nova Scotia.

Certification has been challenging because of costs.

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Media Contacts: Heather Deighan
                Economic Development
                902-424-8922
                E-mail: deighahx@gov.ns.ca

                Jennifer Gavin
                Natural Resources
                902-424-5239
                E-mail: gavinjm@gov.ns.ca

                Wilma Stub
                Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers
                Association
                902-625-3800
                E-mail: nslffpa@ns.sympatico.ca