As part of its ongoing efforts toward continuous improvement in sustainable forestry, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) has opened its 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. SFI will invest in conservation research projects and collaborative partnerships that explain or inform the role of sustainable forest management in carbon and bioenergy; forest health; water; capacity building; and wildlife, fish and biodiversity. The deadline for grant applications is Feb. 21.
“The SFI Program 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 of forest resources. The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program fosters research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions about our forests," said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc.
SFI announced it will deliver up to $300,000 for forest conservation research projects, bringing total 2014 investments to more than $400,000 with previously awarded multi-year research grants. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 40 grants for a total of over $1.65 million that promote sustainable forestry practices and engage communities. Together with project partner contributions, these projects represent leveraged investments of over $5 million.
SFI’s 2014 investment includes ongoing multi-year research grant commitments for projects awarded to groups like Tk’emlups te Secwepemec First Nations to improve knowledge transfer to younger generations seeking to identify culturally significant sites, and to the American Bird Conservancy to showcase the value of habitat improvements, including thinning, understory management, and the creation of snags for bird conservation within the context of meeting economic and forest health goals.
In addition to the conservation research grants, SFI will award five to seven community grants in amounts up to $5,000 each to support youth education in forestry; green building; and advancing management and awareness of culturally important land. Past community grants have supported the National Network of Forest Practitioners to conduct workshops for underserved landowners in Mississippi and Alabama and support for visiting foresters at the Philmont Scout Ranch, where 5,000 scouts were given the opportunity to learn about the conservation benefits that forests provide.
The complete 2014 RFP and the latest information about the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program are posted here.