SFI Awards Grant to Support Water Quality Research

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Resources Institute (WRI), a global development and environmental think tank, will receive a grant of $35,000 USD to research how forest certification standards can help protect American lakes and rivers, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) announced today.

"This grant will help us identify the extent to which SFI-certified forest management can result in effective implementation of best management practices for improved water quality," said Todd Gartner, Senior Associate, Conservation Incentives & Markets at the World Resources Institute. "This will strengthen our understanding of how forest landowners may use SFI standards to achieve improvements in water quality, quantity, or flow."  

The grant is being awarded under the SFI® Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, and comes on the heels of a new National Water Quality Initiative announced by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to improve impaired watersheds in the U.S. The two-year grant will allow WRI to examine how certification can complement government initiatives and market-based programs to promote clean water.

"Protecting water bodies has been a key component of the SFI program since its inception in 1995," SFI Inc. President & CEO Kathy Abusow said today. "Responsible forestry is vital to maintaining clean water for the health of our planet and people. We are proud to fund this project to demonstrate how SFI certification supports the use of best management practices to protect water quality. The results of this project will also help us identify ways to further strengthen the SFI program."

SFI Inc. created the Conservation & Community Partnerships Grant program in 2010 to foster partnerships between organizations focused on improving forest management in the United States and Canada and promoting responsible procurement globally. These research projects leverage additional resources, achieving a total investment of $4.8 million. The WRI project is one of five SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grants to be awarded this year that will specifically support water resources.

This project fits into broader ongoing work by WRI, in collaboration with the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, the Willamette Partnership, the American Forest Foundation, and others to advance investment in forests to ensure stable supplies of clean freshwater. 

The SFI program 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. Since 1995, its program participants have contributed more than $1.3 billion for research activities, including forestry research, science and technology.

About SFI Inc. (www.sfiprogram.org)
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 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.

About The World Resources Institute (www.wri.org)
The World Resources Institute is a global development and environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. We work with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent development and environmental challenges. WRI's transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.



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