As someone deeply committed to advancing forest conservation, I was excited yesterday to be part of the launch of the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program for 2013. Established in 2010, the program fosters partnerships between non-profit organizations, SFI program participants and other stakeholders interested in advancing responsible forestry and procurement in the United States and Canada.
This year we are proud to pledge $400,000 in funding to support projects in the areas of Working Forests, Water Resources, Carbon and Bioenergy, Capacity Building, and Wildlife and Biodiversity. In 2013, SFI continues funding of multi-year projects underway – such as our work with Ducks Unlimited Canada and the World Resources Institute – and will award up to $250,000 in new projects through our RFP process.
In addition, SFI awards community grants of $5,000 or less to help fund projects that support youth education in forestry, green building and advancing management and awareness of culturally important lands.
It’s gratifying to be part of a program that brings together the conservation and environmental community, resource managers, researchers and government agencies together to tackle today’s critical forestry issues such as water quality, climate change and habitat management. To date, SFI has invested more than $1.3 million to support 33 grant projects to promote forest conservation, sustainable management, and community engagement. When leveraged with matching funds, the total investment in the program exceeds $4.8 million.
The end result is improved management of our forests and responsible product sourcing. SFI 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. The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program is a natural extension of this commitment and ultimately helps improve forest management in the U.S. and Canada and contributes to the ongoing improvement of the SFI standard.
SFI is proud to engage with so many conservation organizations and community partners who share our goal of supporting healthy, sustainable forests for generations to come.
The deadline for this year’s grant applications is Monday, March 18, 2013. For more information about the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program and to download the complete 2013 RFP, please visit our 2013 Grant Program site.