The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), American Forest Foundation (AFF) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) made announcements this week expressing mutual support for new approaches to forest management planning and certification, which will help streamline forest certification and ensure access to the global marketplace.

Among these efforts, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) announced a joint effort by AFF, the Florida Forest Service and the University of Florida for a pilot landscape-management plan to encourage sustainable forestry and bring more wood grown on family-owned forests into the sustainable global supply chain.

Both SFI and ATFS are endorsed by PEFC, which helps both certification systems connect effectively to the global marketplace. All three certification systems provide guidelines for management, to ensure that forests are managed to the highest possible environmental and sustainability standards. The SFI label, which can be found on a variety of products emanating from sustainable forests, helps consumers know that they’re purchasing products that represent responsible forestry.

The new certification approach will reduce barriers for landowners and look at management planning from the landscape level, taking into account conservation priorities and the latest science. It aims to improve overall forest health and conserve and promote benefits for habitat, biodiversity and clean water.

Integrating a sustainable supply chain from the local to the global level is a key priority for SFI, a theme that was reinforced at the SFI Annual Conference in Olympic Valley, Calif., last week. Presentations and panel discussions focused on the local to global challenges and opportunities, involving Tom Martin and the leadership of PEFC. The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, recently achieved certification of two of Florida’s largest state forests, Blackwater River and Tate’s Hell State Forests, to the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard.

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