Resolute FP's forest certification suspended

An environmental organization has suspended the certification of harvesting operations in a northwestern Ontario forest managed by Resolute Forest Products.

Rainforest Alliance audit reveals lack of support from 'stakeholders'

An environmental organization has suspended the certification of harvesting operations in a northwestern Ontario forest managed by Resolute Forest Products.

The Forest Stewardship Council requires companies to maintain strict environmental and social standards in order to be certified.

Krista West of the Rainforest Alliance said Resolute failed to meet standards set out by the Forest Stewardship Council. (Supplied)

Krista West is a manager in the certification division of the Rainforest Alliance, which conducted the audit of Resolute's Black Spruce-Dog River forest on behalf of the FSC.

She said the company hadn't done enough to fill gaps in the forest's ecosystem, and hasn't secured enough support for its activities from what she called "other stakeholders."

However, in an interview with the CBC, West added that it is not her organization's job to tell the company how to get its certification back.

"It's up to the company to determine what actions they want to do to bring themselves into comformance," she said. "We don't prescribe an activity."

'Temporary' suspensions common

Resolute communications director Xavier Van Chau said such "temporary" suspensions are common, and the company is working to get its certificate reinstated.

"What we need to do is to secure support from interested parties," he said.

"This is the non-conformance that's been raised from the certifying body."

Van Chau said the stakeholders include professional foresters, First Nations, hunters, trappers and environmentalists.

He said the company doesn't expect this will have an immediate impact on its business, and it hopes to "address" the suspension within a few months.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.