Principles of Forest Stewardship

ABCFP Bylaw 1 defines forest stewardship as the responsible use of forest resources based on the application of an ecological understanding at the stand, forest, and landscape levels which maintains and protects ecosystem function, integrity and resilience, and an ethical responsibility to the land and people for current and future generations.

Forest stewardship is a foundational aspect of the “practice of professional forestry” by ABCFP registrants that is defined in the Forest Professionals Regulation as "the provision of advice or services in relation to trees, forests, forest lands, forest resources, forest ecosystems or forest transportation systems, or advice or services that are ancillary to those described ..."

The ABCFP further defines the practice of forestry by registrants in Bylaw 1 as having the same meaning as the Forest Professionals Regulation, and, for greater certainty, includes:

  • the provision of the services of managing, advising on, performing or directing works, services or undertakings respecting trees, forests, forest lands, forest resources, forest ecosystems or forest transportation systems in a natural or managed, rural or urban environment, and any related, incidental or ancillary services or activities; and
  • the promotion and implementation of principles of forest stewardship.

All registrants of the ABCFP are bound by the Code of ‎Ethical and Professional Conduct . Registrants are responsible to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public and ‎the protection of the environment. The practice of professional forestry is undertaken in a manner that protects the public interest ‎by ensuring the multiple values society has assigned to BC’s forest are balanced and considered. ‎To protect the public interest, all registrants practising professional forestry must be accountable ‎and adhere to ethical and professional standards that include forest stewardship.‎

In ABCFP Bylaw 9, registrants must work to improve practices and policies affecting forest stewardship and, in doing so, must:

  1. obtain a clear understanding of objectives for land and resource use; 
  2. uphold forest stewardship and practise the responsible use of forest ‎resources based on the application of an ecological understanding at the ‎stand, forest, and landscape levels, which maintains and protects ‎ecosystem function, integrity, and resilience; 
  3. take respectful and appropriate steps to raise identified concerns with another registrant about any practice that may be detrimental to forest stewardship, and to seek to resolve those concerns.

The ABCFP principles of forest stewardship include:

  • ecological integrity;
  • information and understanding;
  • forest management goals and objectives;
  • social foundation;
  • temporal options;
  • spatial strategies; and
  • adaptive practice.

Read the ABCFP report Principles of Forest Stewardship (2021) .