The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is one of the fastest-growing forest certification programs with close to 200 million acres/80 million hectares certified in North America. Recently, the organization announced a large collaboration with conservation groups and several government agencies. In these alliances, SFI hopes to promote conversation across North America while fighting illegal logging across the world.
SFI chose to partner with certain groups based on how well they support the SFI standards. SFI promotes responsible forest management with a “chain-of-custody” certification. This shows buyers how much certified woof fiber is in a product. SFI certification works with existing government initiatives and builds partnerships of responsible forestry. This includes avoiding sources that illegally log while promoting wildlife habitats, water quality, biodiversity, and activities that benefit communities. They also promote the role of certified forests in the emerging bioenergy markets.
Just who will SFI be partnering with in these latest initiatives? Bird Studies Canada will work to create bird biodiversity across Canada. The South Coast Conservation Program will help protect habitat and populations of forest-dependent species at risk along British Columbia’s Pacific Coast. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will work to reverse the declines of some 80 at-risk species. The Ruffed Grouse Society will help landowners in the Great Lakes region manage the wildlife on their property. And The American Chestnut Foundation will work to replenish the American chestnut tree, which has fallen to blight and logging. And these are just a few of the collaborations. The total value of these projects is expected to be $2.7 million.
Dr. John A. Helms is professor emeritus in forestry at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the SFI External Review Panel. According to Helms, "This grant initiative demonstrates SFI's leadership — it harnesses the power of its many partnerships to build knowledge and raise understanding that enables all those concerned about responsible forest management and procurement to more effectively deal with emerging issues and opportunities.” Since 1995, SFI-certified organizations have invested more than $1.1 billion in programs to preserve the land. It looks like these latest initiatives will continue these clean, green practices.
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