We’re pleased to announce that the Appalachian Woods Alliance—our coalition with private woodland landowners and forest product companies—has received the 2020 FSC Leadership Award!
This Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) award recognizes uncommon excellence in advancing responsible forest management and forest conservation. It’s an honor to stand alongside forest landowners, retailers, manufacturers, and others who contribute to the movement toward responsible sourcing and protecting forests.
Sustainable forestry with the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance
The Appalachian Woodlands Alliance (AWA) is a partnership between the Rainforest Alliance and forest products industry leaders such as Columbia Forest Products, Domtar, Evergreen Packaging, and others. We help companies responsibly source from the small, private landowners in the Southeastern United States who possess most of the forest. Above all, the goal is to support the health and productivity of our Appalachian forests, which are biodiversity hotspots. They are also an important source of forest products, a critical part of the region’s rural economy.
“Domtar has been a part of the AWA program since the inception. We are honored to support a program that has been recognized through the 2020 FSC Leadership Award. Responsible forest management is key to keeping forests… forests.”Paige Goff, VP Sustainability for Domtar Paper
Working with smallholder forest landowners
The current focus of the AWA, as well as the reason for this award, is the Smallholder Access Program (SAP). SAP officially launched in 2019 for a two-year pilot. It is a joint effort between FSC and the Rainforest Alliance. The aim of the SAP is to make forest certification accessible to smallholder forest landowners in the region. As a result, the Appalachian woodlands will see improvements in ecological health and economic productivity.
“Our participation in the AWA reflects Evergreen Packaging’s long-term commitment to promoting responsible forest management and supply chain assurance. This successful partnership also enabled us to participate in a pilot project designed to improve forest health and to help meet rising customer demand for certified products.”Derric Brown, Director of Sustainability for Evergreen Packaging
Local forestry, global impacts
If successful, the AWA’s work on the SAP pilot could then expand to smallholder foresters around the globe.
“This pilot is part of Rainforest Alliance’s global push to transform the forest products industry. We see the Smallholder Access Program as a great tool to improve forest management with small woodlands owners who own much of the forests of this region,” said Andrew Goldberg, Project Manager for the Appalachian Woodlands Alliance. “The SAP will work to make more sustainable forestry the norm. It starts in the heart of the Appalachians and will hopefully expand around the world.”
We’re proud of this recognition from FSC because it celebrates our vision of making responsible business the new normal. To learn more about our forest sector work, including innovative pilots like the Smallholder Access Program, visit our Tailored Services page.