In a press release Resolute Forest Products responds to the proposal put forth by FSC International on December 17, 2015, to launch a mediation process between interested parties with the goal of identifying solutions to forest management issues in the Canadian boreal forest. The proposal follows Resolute's expression of concern regarding the viability of FSC certification in Canada given several significant challenges.
Resolute firmly believes that any mediation process concerning forest management in Quebec or Ontario must be led by the respective provincial governments, as they are clearly responsible for issues related to forest management planning. These issues include the resolution of disputes between First Nations and the implementation of a caribou conservation strategy, both of which are cited as key areas of focus in FSC International's proposal. According to an article published in Le Quotidien, it is not clear whether the Quebec government would be willing to participate in such a process.
"Beyond the leadership of the provincial governments, it is critical that all of the parties impacted by forestry activities in the boreal forest be involved in any discussion concerning certification," said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer of Resolute. "This includes First Nations, local communities and unions. Of course, we believe that environmental groups should have a voice in the process. Greenpeace, the only ENGO mentioned in FSC's proposal, has been engaged in a campaign of misinformation targeting Resolute. We believe it would be more appropriate to engage with responsible organizations with a track record of constructive engagement in the public policy discourse, to ensure that the process is neutral and fair."