New SFI Vice President to Promote Forest Conservation and Broaden Engagement with the Indigenous People of North America

OTTAWA, Ontario and WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Andrew de Vries has joined the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® as Vice President, Conservation, Indigenous and Government Relations. He will oversee the SFI® conservation program in Canada and engage Native Americans, First Nations and Metis groups both in the development and use of the SFI standard.  Andrew will also work with governments in Canada and Europe to ensure inclusive forest certification related policies.

"Andrew brings more than 20 years of wildlife conservation and natural resource management experience to SFI and will lead our forest conservation efforts in Canada," stated Kathy Abusow, President and CEO. "His ability to work with a wide variety of forest owners and communities dependent on this valuable resource makes Andrew an excellent fit for the SFI program."

"I am excited to join the SFI team to continue my career by broadening SFI's engagement with the conservation and Indigenous peoples of North America," said de Vries, "SFI provides a great opportunity to do both because of its extensive network of participants and its conservation and community grants program."

Most recently Andrew was the Chief Biologist for the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Canada's national forest industry trade association, where he led conservation and aboriginal engagement efforts while also working on the development of government policies in these areas. Andrew has worked with a variety of conservation organizations throughout his career including universities, government agencies and environmental organizations, including those involved in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. His work with Indigenous peoples includes working with Bands and Tribes at the local level on business partnerships, training and conservation opportunities as well as leading a Memorandum of Understanding between FPAC and Canada's Assembly of First Nations in 2008.  Throughout his career Andrew has worked closely with each of the 3 sustainable forest management standards in place in North America.

Andrew has been a member of a variety of councils and boards related to conservation and forestry, including the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI), and the Forest Products Human Resources Sector Council.  Andrew earned a B.Sc, and M.A. from the University of Calgary in Anthropology and Animal Behavior. Andrew started his career in wildlife biology working in the forests of Costa Rica and then worked as a wildlife biologist and aboriginal liaison in northeastern British Columbia. He can be reached at andrew.devries@sfiprogram.org or 613-424-8734.

About SFI
SFI Inc. is an independent non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. Across North America, more than 200 million acres (81 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard. The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and/or post-consumer recycled content. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative



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