WASHINGTON - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc. released its annual progress report documenting its accomplishments during the past year related to its forest and wood certification programs.

Kahy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI, said, "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."

SFI Details Forest Certification Accomplishments in Annual ReportAn External review panel that examined the SFI's activities for 2011 made note of several achievements, including:

 

* Program participants invested $83.2 million for research activities. The total since 1995 is more than $1.3 billion. SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America requiring participants support forest research.

* Since 2010, SFI has committed $1.27 million in grants for 29 projects through its Conservation and Community Partnerships Program., including five projects in 2012 that focus on water resource management.

* 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.

* Nearly 6,500 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.

SFI said more than 195 million acres of North American  forest are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single forest standard in the world.

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