SFI Conservation Grants Feature Collaboration From 37 Different Groups Spanning North America

WASHINGTON and OTTAWA, Ontario, Feb. 27, 2017 /CNW/ -- The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced five conservation grants today. SFI is bringing together a diverse range of people from 37 organizations to support research that directly influences future forests. This year's grants focus on the connection between sustainable supply chains and natural resource issues we all care about — like carbon storage, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests with exceptional conservation value.

These organizations include leading conservation groups like NatureServe, GreenBlue, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Manomet, the American Bird Conservancy and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. They are collaborating with government officials from Georgia, Saskatchewan and the Canadian Forest Service, SFI Program Participants, the Forest Products Association of Canada as well as the University of Alberta, UBC and Université Laval.

The grants were awarded through SFI's Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which is dedicated to improving conservation of forests and strengthening the communities that depend on them. These projects provide the science-based information needed by resource professionals to improve forest management. The projects also inform the larger discussion around the positive conservation impact of responsible forest management and its importance in supply chain sustainability.

"I'm thrilled to see the breadth of collaboration of so many groups," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "Critical issues like biodiversity and carbon storage are best tackled when we pool our collective knowledge and resources. These grants are an example of how the SFI community is growing and collaborating to quantify the conservation impact of certified forests."

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project, led by the University of Alberta, has the potential to help billions of birds by developing models that will help land managers understand and manage the breeding habitats for birds like the Canada warbler, olive-sided flycatcher and the pine siskin.

The Marketplace Sustainability Goals Program, led by GreenBlue, is designed to increase awareness in the North American marketplace about responsible forest management and how the responsible sourcing of forest products advances sustainability goals shared by brand owners, conservationists and the public.

The Canadian Forest Carbon Assessment, led by the Saskatchewan Research Council, is building a roadmap to conduct a comprehensive carbon-stock assessment for well-managed forests, including those certified to SFI. This project will quantify carbon storage in different forest ecosystems using national and regional data and examine forest management practices that influence carbon stocks.

The Forest Climate Resiliency Project, led by Manomet, will document the climate resiliency benefits provided by forests certified to SFI by establishing metrics for growth rates and forest health in sustainably managed forests. Results will help ensure forest health in a changing climate.

The Conservation Values of Forests Project, led by NatureServe, will help simplify and consolidate the biodiversity-related conservation value of forests certified to SFI, ultimately helping stakeholders to understand and communicate conservation outcomes. Findings will also help forest managers improve wildlife habitat across large landscapes.

About the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program
Since the program began in 2010, SFI has awarded 53 Conservation and 49 Community Partnership grants totaling more than $3.4 million to foster conservation and community-building projects. When leveraged with project-partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $13.2 million.

The grant program builds on the fact that SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America that requires participants to support and engage in research activities to improve forest health, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources, and the environmental benefits and performance of forest products.

SFI uses data generated by our conservation grants to help scale best practices and inform our revisions to the SFI Standards. Through the SFI Conservation Impact Project, we are developing metrics for climate change mitigation, water quality and biodiversity, to encourage forest health, conservation and sound management. Quantifying these environmental benefits will also enable the SFI community to understand and promote the conservation values associated with well-managed forests.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) stands for future forests. SFI® is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest sustainability and supporting the links between sustainable forests and communities through grant programs, carefully targeted research, direct leadership of critical initiatives, and partnerships that effectively contribute to multiple conservation objectives. Since 1995, SFI Program Participants have invested more than $1.6 billion in forest-research activities. Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover more than 115 million hectares/285 million acres. Millions more hectares benefit from the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. SFI's Forest Management, Fiber Sourcing and Chain of Custody Standards work to ensure the health and future of forests. Through application of these certification standards, SFI's on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.

Appendix: SFI 2017 Conservation Grants Partners

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project

  • Project lead: University of Alberta
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • American Bird Conservancy
  • Bird Studies Canada
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Canfor (SFI Program Participant)
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Louisiana-Pacific (SFI Program Participant)
  • Nature Canada
  • Université Laval
  • University of British Columbia
  • West Fraser (SFI Program Participant)
  • Weyerhaeuser (SFI Program Participant)

The Marketplace Sustainability Goals Program

  • Project lead: GreenBlue Institute
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Sappi North America (SFI Program Participant)

The Canadian Forest Carbon Assessment

  • Project lead: Saskatchewan Research Council
  • The Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Canadian Forest Service Carbon Accounting Team
  • Forest Products Association of Canada
  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment's Forest Service
  • Saskatchewan Meadow Lake OSB (Tolko) (SFI Program Participant)
  • Manitoba Sustainable Development, Forestry and Peatlands Management
  • Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. Swan Valley Forest Resources Division (SFI Program Participant)
  • Weyerhaeuser (SFI Program Participant)

The Forest Climate Resiliency Project

  • Project lead: Manomet
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Hancock Timber Resource Group (SFI Program Participant)
  • Lyme Timber Company (SFI Program Participant)
  • Maine SFI Implementation Committee
  • Resource Management Service, LLC (SFI Program Participant)

The Conservation Values of Forests Project

  • Project lead: NatureServe
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Florida Natural Areas Inventory
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • Hancock Timber Resource Group (SFI Program Participant)
  • Maine Natural Areas Program
  • National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI)
  • Rayonier (SFI Program Participant)
  • Resource Management Service, LLC (SFI Program Participant)
  • Weyerhaeuser (SFI Program Participant)


SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

For further information: Paul Trianosky, Chief Conservation Officer, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., 423-571-2562, paul.trianosky@sfiprogram.org; Andrew de Vries, VP, Conservation and Indigenous Relations, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., 613-424-8734, andrew.devries@sfiprogram.org, http://www.sfiprogram.org

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