What Is Forestry SFI ATFS (Sustainable Forestry)?
Biodiversity and the ecosystem overall need to be protected in order to maintain a regular or normal level of resources. It isn’t a secret for anyone that companies and people in general use many nature-based resources to operate and produce specific products and items. Our nature-based resources need won’t disappear from one day to another but we sure can do something about to avoid running them out and instead, regularize their regeneration.
For this, non-profit companies and the government itself have created standards and requirements that encourage businesses and invite them to follow certain parameters to guarantee the protection of biodiversity and resources. Unfortunately, most of these standards aren’t mandatory thus there is no control over the businesses that require such resources as forest-based ones, and here is when exploiting them starts to appear. It is also important to mention these standards that protect biodiversity are usually aiming for an area or ecosystem in specific.
We at ISO Pros, are familiar with SFI, which goes for Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which is considered a program as well that was developed and created for a company with the same name: SFI Inc. This standard focuses on a premise only: responsible environmental behavior and use. In simpler words, it makes people and businesses use forest-based resources responsibly to guarantee the protection of wildlife habitat, species at risk, and guarantee the prompt regeneration of resources.
Now, this is only possible if the companies and businesses getting certified in this standard believe that something as co-existing responsibly as possible. One of the main problems with SFI is that not all companies want to follow this standard, after all, they don’t need to have certain regulations in this aspect. But, how would you feel to do the right thing? Besides, your company—if you decide to follow this standard—won’t be affected at all.
Instead, you will be guaranteed with the required resources thanks to the co-existence between an ecosystem and the business needs. What do you need to do or expect from this standard? It is quite simple. SFI focuses on making participants and owners practice sustainable forestry on their lands. The name of the standard or program tells you quite well what it is about but if you are not familiar with sustainable forestry, you are probably asking yourself what it is.
After a tree—or trees—is removed or used, the company, business, landlord, or owner needs to completely remove the stump and replace them with seedlings for more trees to grow in the future. Planting new trees in the same area you have felled the ones you are using for your forest-based resources will maintain a supply and nature chain. But the standard encourages more than that, at least, this one SFI Inc. has developed.
For example, it is necessary to implement regulatory measures to guarantee the protection of the water and other materials found in the forest. So, the rules or normative would be quite simple: if you use it, make sure to replace or regenerate it by taking the right actions. And always make sure to use them responsibly. The final result of all this practice and program is to find a balance between the forest-based resources and economic benefits from the companies and people overall. All this to guarantee the long-term health of the entire forest and a specific area that is being used.
What does ATFS stand for?
If you search SFI ATFS directly, you will notice there is a general result that involves the Sustainable Forestry Initiative but also the American Tree Farm System. Both of them are individual organizations and initiatives.
Therefore, you need to know about them individually to understand the entire goal of their partnership, which is what SFI and ATFS have created together for a goal: cover more acres and forests. That being said, what is ATFS in specific?
The American Tree Farm System is an organization and network that was created to cover the forest areas that are private instead of public. This means that people owning forest and green areas can get certified or be part of this system in order to protect the regeneration and current status of their acres of forestland.
But how does it make it? With the parameters and guidelines set in the system, it works to sustain forest, watershed, and maintain a healthy wildlife habitat so the regeneration of the resources takes place even faster.
This system is only aiming for private forest areas where landowners have complete control of them. However, most people do not get certified in such programs due to how expensive they tend to be.
ATFS made it affordable and accessible for anyone interested in joining and doing the right thing with its forests. If you own private land with thousands or hundreds of acres of forest, we encourage you to follow this system and be part of the change.
What is the goal of the SFI and ATFS partnership?
It aims for the certification of small and medium forests in several areas of not only the United States but also Canada. Since SFI aims for public forest areas and companies, ATFS complements it by directing its efforts to the private sector. You can look at this partnership as a way to promote the certification and care of forests all over the country.
This relationship has been running for over 5 years now, and millions of forest acres have been covered under both standards and certifications. Also, the partnership has specific regulations or requirements to get certified in both programs or systems. And these requirements are reviewed, changed, and get some additions every 5 years to continue with the right goal according to the scientific and forest needs.
When it comes to defining SFI and ATFS, you can consider it an entire program to protect land forests—mostly—in the South of the United States. And part of Canada as well.
Did you grow interested in getting certified and start doing the right thing by protecting and caring about your forests without only looking at them as economic resources? You can get certified whenever you want as long as you start to implement them. At ISO Pros, we can help you with this, just say the words and we will be there supporting you and getting your business or land certified.