FSC Unsung Heroes – Who’s Behind FSC? #2 Colin Maunder, Forest Risk Manager, Timberland Limited (New Zealand)

FSC New Zealand’s Craig Kenny speaks to our next unsung hero Colin Maunder. 

Maunder has been working in forestry for more than three decades and has a true passion and devotion to drive the industry’s continual improvement towards sustainability. Currently serves as the Forest Risk Manager at Timberlands Limited, he also contributes his spare time and expertise as the Chair of the New Zealand FSC Standard Development Group and member of FSC International’s Pesticide Policy Working Group.

These are huge responsibilities and require an abiding commitment. What keeps him motivated?

“Fundamentally, I like the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council,” says Maunder. “You[FSC] have a multi-chambered organisation that rewards good management and collaborative decision making. FSC certainly has its challenges, but that’s just another reason to get involved and it gives me a chance to help the FSC overcome these. Trying to interpret the principles locally is important for New Zealand, where we can feel a long way away from global decisions.”

Maunder believes that FSC is a great platform to meet amazing people and have difficult discussions that should never shy away from: GMOs, pesticides, riparian zones, disaster reactions, living wages… and the list goes on. “FSC’s as a great barometer for what global society thinks about forestry,” he further elaborates. “Pesticides are a good example of this. Pest control methods that wouldn’t work anywhere else in the world, work in New Zealand and we get to explain this at the table. But at the same time, we get to hear where others are coming from.”

Maunder also treasures how the systems of FSC encourage forest managers to work together in ways they might otherwise never have. These collaborative efforts allow forest managers to divide tasks amongst each other so that they can deal with the issues more effectively.

“Some of what we’ve done within the Standard Development Group are the world’s firsts within the FSC systems. For example, the Maori chamber and live mapping of certified forests. These are rewarding and challenging initiatives that we’re very proud to be a part of.” He adds.

“Finally, I have an environmental and social ethos. Working with the FSC helps me see that I might be making the world a better place for my children and their future. This is paramount to many New Zealanders and me. We also get to show how inclusive our country is through the principles of the FSC and I just really want to see my kids grow up in an inclusive country.”

FSC has been working on developing National Forest Stewardship Standards with local stakeholders for countries around the world. Currently, in the APAC region, the National Standards for India is under a second consultation. Click here for more information.

Behind the scene – protecting the New Zealand Falcon    Falcon_NZRaptors (New Zealand falcon, morepork and harrier hawks) can be found in the Kaingaroa plantation forests. The plantation is a partnership between Timberlands, an FSC certificate holder, and landowners, whom many of them are Iwi (Māori nations).

Children are the future of the world. Maunder as a forester would also like to plant a seed of conservation to his kids.  Let’s see them in action!

Left: The then 9-year-old Lucy Maunder helps tag an endangered NZ falcon chick in Kaingaroa Forest.
Right: Lucy, Madelina and Colin Maunder being filmed for national television prime time news, promoting sustainable forestry, endangered falcon management and FSC.

Find out more about forestry and FSC related news in New Zealand at nz.fsc.org


FSC is proud to be the world’s most trusted sustainable forest management solution
to deliver positive impacts for the forests, markets, and people – for today and tomorrow. We cannot do this alone and we are grateful to have so many partners and supporters around the world to work together with us.

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2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of FSC. This interview series is our tribute to those unsung heroes in the Asia Pacific region that help grow FSC tall and strong.