WASHINGTON, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc. has made substantial progress in safeguarding forests and the communities that rely on them today and for future generations, according to an External Review Panel.
"The Future is Decided Now, SFI's Annual Progress report, demonstrates how procurement and policy decisions today affect North America's forests tomorrow. Our actions today – from individuals choosing wood or paper products, to buyers setting out procurement principles, government agencies developing policies and conservationists planning research activities – affect our future, the future health of our forests and the future prosperity of rural communities across North America," said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow today. "This progress report also demonstrates how decisions by the SFI Board of Directors and our many partners set the standard for responsible forest management."
The report shows an increase of nearly 30% of companies certified to SFI sourcing requirements from December 2010 to December 2011 according to the SFI External Review Panel, an independent body that ensures the report fairly states the status of SFI program implementation. The SFI annual report reflects the substantial impact the Sustainable Forestry Initiative has on setting and achieving a high standard for the practice and continuous improvement of sustainable forest management in North America.
The following SFI achievements were specifically cited by the External Review Panel:
- Research – SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America requiring participants support forest research. In 2011 program participants invested $83.2 million for research activities. The total since 1995 is more than $1.3 billion.
- Conservation grants – Since 2010, SFI Inc. has committed $1.27 million for 29 projects through its Conservation and Community Partnerships Program., including five projects in 2012 that focus on water resource management.
- Working with communities – Close to 900 people are involved with 37 grassroots SFI Implementation Committees. They have contributed $2.5 million to support local programs such as logger training and landowner outreach in 2011, for a total of $60.2 million since 1995.
- Training loggers – Nearly 6500 resource and logging professionals were trained in responsible forestry through the SFI or other recognized programs in 2011. SFI has helped 135,853 individuals complete training programs since 1995.
"Anyone who wants to learn how they can help SFI make a difference in forests and communities, and in markets around the globe is welcome to attend our 2012 Annual Conference," Abusow said. Details about the conference, Sept. 11 to 13 in Milwaukee, WI, are posted at www.sfiprogram.org/annualconference/2012.
More information about SFI and access to the report can be found at sfiprogram.org.
About SFI Inc.
SFI Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program (www.sfiprogram.org). Across North America, more than 195 million acres/79 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single forest standard in the world.
SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.