WASHINGTON and OTTAWA, Canada, Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is pleased to announce its annual request for proposals (RFP) for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Grants from SFI contribute to understanding the critical linkage between forests and communities across the range of American and Canadian forests, and represent SFI's long-standing commitment to forest research. These projects provide the science-based data needed by resource professionals to improve forest management and to assess conservation values. SFI community grants build engagement at the intersection of sustainable forestry, responsible procurement and thriving communities.
"With more than a quarter billion acres/100 million hectares certified to SFI, representing the breadth of our diverse forests across Canada and the United States, and millions more positively impacted by SFI Fiber Sourcing, SFI has the necessary scale to directly influence the future of our forests. This new grant cycle focuses on helping to quantify the impacts of well managed forests on water, biodiversity, and mitigation of climate change impacts." said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "Our community grants will build more partnerships with community organizations that work to link communities to our future forests, and help people understand the relevancy of forests in their lives."
Since 2010, SFI has awarded 85 grants worth more than $3 million to foster research and pilot efforts to better inform decisions about our forests, and to build understanding of the importance of forests to our communities. When leveraged with project partner contributions, the total investment exceeds $9.3 million. Applications will be accepted from August 8 until 11:59 pm EST, Monday, October 10, 2016. SFI grants are available to academic institutions, non-profit organizations and Indigenous groups. Download this year's RFP here.
SFI Conservation Grants focus on the connection between conservation values, sustainable supply chains and the natural resource values we care about. "At SFI, we are seeking to quantify how responsible forest management positively impacts water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, carbon storage and resiliency to climate change," said Paul Trianosky, Chief Conservation Officer of SFI Inc. "Through research, innovation and collaboration, SFI conservation grants aim to benefit communities and the environment by building understanding of forest values." Some examples of current SFI conservation grants include:
- American Bird Conservancy is spearheading pilot projects in the U.S. Southeast and Pacific Northwest to quantify and improve the value of forests certified to SFI for bird species of conservation interest.
- The Nature Conservancy is teaming up with SFI to help at-risk youth prepare for jobs as forest technicians, while restoring conservation values in native forests.
- The Saskatchewan Research Council in Canada is quantifying how SFI certified forests and their wetlands are helping to store carbon and mitigate climate change.
- Nature Conservancy of Canada is studying how sustainably managed forests certified to SFI can offer biodiversity benefits through conservation of habitat for amphibians and salamanders in vernal pools.
SFI Community Grants bring communities and forests together to help shape a sustainable future. SFI is focused on educating youth, promoting respect for traditional Indigenous values, helping provide sustainable housing for low-income families, and funding other projects to build understanding of the importance of responsible forestry. Recent examples of SFI community grants include:
- Cornell University is engaging local youth to build bird nest boxes using SFI-sourced lumber and developing a free online curriculum to engage more youth in bird conservation.
- The Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec is using support from SFI to update forestry practices for a private woodlots field guide that could reach more than 130,000 woodlot owners in Quebec.
- The Mississippi Forestry Foundation is facilitating a course where Mississippi State University architecture students design a state-of-the-art wood building linking sustainable forest management to green building practices.
- The San Carlos Apache Forest Resources Youth Outreach Program is being supported by SFI to promote the link between sustainable forestry, cultural heritage and empowering Tribal youth.
Learn more about the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, read about current and past grant projects, and download the current RFP here.
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) stands for future forests. An independent nonprofit organization, SFI® promotes sustainable forestry with comprehensive programs supporting ecosystem research and conservation, education and professional accreditation, community engagement, and an internationally-recognized forest certification program. Since 1995, SFI Program Participants have invested more than $1.5 billion in sustainable forestry research and more than 280 million acres/113 million hectares in the US and Canada have been certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. In addition, SFI promotes sustainable forestry by offering the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard to address the diversity of the forest products supply chain. SFI on-product labels help consumers support future forests through responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.
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SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.