WASHINGTON, D.C. and OTTAWA, Ontario. - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has announced the opening of its annual request for proposals (RFP) for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program.
 
SFI has awarded more than 100 grants since 2010 and when leveraged with project partner contributions, the combined investment exceeds $13.2 million.
 
SFI works to promote sustainable forest management through partnerships with conservation groups that are contributing to the understanding of critical links between forests and communities across the range of American and Canadian forests, and community groups working at the intersection of sustainable forestry, responsible procurement, and thriving communities.
 
"SFI is proud to stand with so many partners that lead the way on positively impacting the future of our forests," said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc. "This new grant cycle allows us to reassert our role as a sustainability leader that is working beyond supply chain assurances to elevate conservation value and foster community engagement.”
 
Focusing on elevating and enriching the links between people and forests, SFI awards grants to collaborative community-based projects, activities, or events that support SFI’s core mission to connect communities to forests. Applications that feature creative partnerships or high degrees of leverage are preferred.
 
Particular attention will be paid to applications focused on conservation values in the areas of water, climate change, and biodiversity. Projects that measure, demonstrate, or establish methodologies to demonstrate, the conservation-related values of SFI-certified forestlands, or values promoted by the SFI Fiber sourcing standard will hold priority.
 
Several highlights of these grants include:
  • 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 that will examine forest management practices influencing carbon stocks and quantify carbon storage in different forest ecosystems using national and regional data.
  • The Conservation Values of Forests Project, led by NatureServe, will help consolidate and illustrate the biodiversity-related conservation value of forests certified to SFI, ultimately helping stakeholders to understand and communicate conservation outcomes, and help forest managers improve wildlife habitat across large landscapes.
  • A Tree, Is A Tree, Is A Tree 101, led by the Black Family Land Trust, is engaging African Americans in Southside Virginia to turn family forest assets into performing assets for today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.
  • Marten Monitoring and Youth Knowledge Transfer Program, is an effort led by the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi in Quebec to evaluate the impact of wildlife management guidelines on marten populations and transfer knowledge to Cree youth in the community by combining science and traditional knowledge.
  • A Guide to Harvesting Family Woodlands, being developed by the Maine SFI Implementation Committee, will be a key tool to conserve forests, educate forest owners, and build partnerships among family woodland owners and forest managers.
SFI grants are available to academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous groups. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm EST, Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
 
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest sustainability through grant programs, carefully targeted research, youth education, supply chain assurances, and partnerships that effectively contribute to multiple conservation objectives. SFI stands for future forests and is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social, and economic sectors equally. Forests certified to the SFI forest management standard cover 285 million acres while millions more benefit from the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.