John’s visit to Eastern Ontario was the second and final of the two cases he is examining for his Ph.D. thesis. The first field visit took John to Kyoto where he examined the activities of the Kyoto Model Forest Association in the sustainable governance of small-scale private forest management.
While in Eastern Ontario, John worked with the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF) to examine how the Model Forest uses the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) Group Certification program to support the sustainable management of small-scale private woodlots. The highlight of John’s visit included interviews with identifiable stakeholders of the certification program; field visits to certified woodlots; and reading of secondary data on certified woodlots.
John had the opportunity to interview a cross-section of participants involved in the EOMF FSC Group Forest certification program. This included private woodlot owners, community forest managers, and private forest managers. Some staff of the Model Forest who are involved in the certification program were also interviewed.
In addition to the interviews, John also visited some private woodlots and community forests, all under the FSC Group certification program, to observe the nature of these forests. During some of these visits, John observed forest management practices typically undertaken in certified woodlots. The field visits also gave John the opportunity to have informal discussions with woodlot owners and forest managers on some of the practical steps they take to manage their forests.
Besides the data collection exercise, John also had the opportunity to meet with some officials of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) within the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ottawa. John used the opportunity to brief the officials of the IMFN on his research activities, particularly, his research in Japan with the Kyoto Model Forest Association.
John is grateful to the EOMF for the immense role it played in facilitating the data collection activities. Special thanks goes to Scott Davis, the immediate past Coordinator of the EOMF Forest Certification program, for connecting and introducing John to all the stakeholders involved in the certification program. John is also grateful to Astrid Nelson, the General Manager of the EOMF, and Dr. Elizabeth Holmes (Ph.D.) and Martin Streit, both with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, for their enormous support.
Finally, John is grateful to all the woodlot owners and forest managers who agreed to be interviewed and as well offered John a tour of their properties.
Funding for John’s field work was provided by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada through Dr. Maureen G. Reed’s research project.