SFI Conference: Partnerships DO Make a Difference

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A stick held alone breaks easily. A bundle of sticks? Much harder to break. So it is with partnerships. Initiatives with multiple committed partners are stronger and more powerful than those embarked upon alone.

That’s why it’s encouraging to read about all of the positive things that are coming out of the array of partnerships facilitated by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). At the recent 2010 SFI Annual Conference (held September 21-23 in Vancouver, British Columbia), the organization announced some very positive, far-reaching benefits that have come out of its partnerships.

In particular, the SFI highlighted the success of its new Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant initiative, launched earlier this year to support cooperative projects that deliver tangible, on-the-ground benefits to forests. In 2010, the SFI has made an initial investment of between $307,500 – $675,000, and through the involvement of partners, these projects will leverage additional resources and achieve a total value of almost $2.7 million.

A number of projects are already in full swing. These include partnerships led by the following organizations. Click on the title to download individual project information sheets.

  • Bird Studies Canada, along with the Canadian Wildlife Service will work to conserve bird biodiversity across Canada.
  • Clemson University will help South Carolina landowners adopt and implement practices to improve wildlife habitat on managed forest lands in partnership with local conservation organizations and government agencies.
  • Forest Trends will hold the fourth Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging & Associated Trade, helping U.S. suppliers navigate legality in the global supply chain.
  • South Coast Conservation Program, in partnership with nine First Nations holding tenure in British Columbia, will help identify and protect habitat and populations of forest-dependent species at risk along British Columbia’s Pacific Coast.
  • The American Chestnut Foundation will help restore the American Chestnut, including test plantings of blight-resistant trees.
  • The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, working with State Natural Heritage Programs, will pilot a habitat-based approach to protecting at-risk imperiled species and communities.
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, along with 11 state agencies and two Canadian provinces, will enhance the biodiversity of young forest habitats, helping to reverse the declines of some 80 species at risk.
  • The Ruffed Grouse Society will hold six Wisconsin Coverts workshops, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin’s Extension and the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology to help private landowners in the Great Lakes Region manage their land for wildlife.
  • World Resources Institute will create an online dynamic risk assessment tool to reduce illegal wood imports into the United States.

I just love reporting good news!

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