The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has launched its large-scale effort to quantify the conservation benefits associated with well-managed forests stretching across North America from British Columbia to Florida. Forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard cover more than 280 million acres, and millions more acres benefit from the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, the organization says.

The SFI Conservation Impact Project focuses on developing metrics for climate change mitigation, water quality and biodiversity to encourage forest health, conservation and sound management. Quantifying these environmental benefits will also enable the SFI community to understand and promote the conservation values associated with sustainably managed forests.

“Having robust conservation data directly linked to sustainable forestry will help people take pride in the environmental benefits, like clean water and carbon storage, that we all enjoy from well-managed forests,” said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc. “We firmly believe that the future of forests and the environment depends on understanding the contributions of sustainable forest management.”

The SFI Conservation Impact Project will be launched at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. SFI became a member of IUCN in April.

A large part of these conservation efforts are driven by SFI Program Participants. SFI certification standards require them to collaborate to support research to improve forest health, conservation understanding, productivity and sustainable management of forest resources. SFI is the only forest certification program in North America with a research requirement – resulting in $1.6 billion of investments from SFI Program Participants since 1995. In 2015 alone, 400 different conservation and research projects were reported by SFI Program Participants.


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