The EOFG is a not-for-profit organization focused on initiatives that support healthy and diverse forests within Ontario. The following are the key areas of focus for the EOFG.
- Forest Certification. This program operates throughout eastern and southern Ontario.
- First Nations Engagement
- Carbon Offsets
- Forest Health Network
- Forest Education/Outreach
Forest Certification Program
In January 2003, the Model Forest received a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Group Forest Management Certificate. This certificate is managed by the Model Forest on behalf of private and community forest members. It allows for many forest owners to share in the benefits of FSC® certification, under one umbrella.
The FSC® is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. The FSC® has developed a set of Standards, based on 10 core principles and criteria, that ensure sustainable forest management. Forest owners interested joining the Program must indicate their commitment to managing their forest within the FSC® Standards and the Model Forest Policies and Procedures.
Today, the Model Forest manages a successful and growing Forest Certification Program. The area now certified under the Program totals over 82,000 hectares. This consists of:
- Private forest owners;
- Community forests;
- Commercial forest owners;
- Independent resource managers; and
- Maple syrup producers.
Each year the Forest Certification Program is audited by a 3rd party independent auditor (NEPCon) to ensure our group members are in compliance with the Standards and Policies and Procedures. As part of the audit, the auditor does reach out to several stakeholders/interested parties to gauge our compliance with sustainable forest management practices.
NEPCon has contacted BGWA, as one of those stakeholder groups, requesting any input its members may have to assist in the audit process. Members (excluding those who are not arms length from organizations included in the audit) can send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 30th. BGWA will compile it and send onward to NEPCon.