OTTAWA, ON. — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) had the following statement following the tabling of the federal budget yesterday:
“As an independent organization that advances sustainability through widespread forest-focused collaborations centred on conservation, standards, community and education Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) welcomes the government’s commitment in Budget 2023.
“Alongside our partners in the forest and conservation sector, resource professionals, local communities and governments, researchers, Indigenous peoples, we are committed to ensuring Canada meets sustainability objectives with the future green economy in mind.
“By leveraging the 120 million hectares of SFI-certified forests in Canada, the government has the opportunity to lead the world in climate smart forestry, and create sustainable economic development, conservation of biodiversity, and skills training for future generations.
“We look forward to working with the government of Canada to deliver on critical investments for Canadians through both certification and youth employment and training opportunities.
“SFI also proudly delivers solutions for youth employment and training through our initiative Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada). Today’s forest and conservation sector is an exciting field that involves science, community engagement, and international and local commerce. We have played a vital role in supporting these green jobs with more than 7,000 youth benefiting from PLT Canada work experiences since 2018, including over 1,000 Indigenous youth from over 100 communities. We have also proudly achieved gender balance throughout.
“The Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Project Learning Tree Canada were especially pleased to see the investment of $197.7 million in the Student Work Placement Program and $368.4 million to renew and update forest sector programs, to support jobs in the forestry sector in rural and remote communities announced yesterday in Budget 2023.
“While the budget takes steps towards securing establishing Canada as a global leader in green jobs, we know that these funds must be delivered in collaboration with industry partners who have experience in delivering. We encourage the government to address any funding shortfalls and program design to ensure that employers and youth can fully benefit from these critical investments quickly.
“The Sustainable Forestry Initiative looks forward to continued collaboration with the federal government to implement the important policies announced yesterday in Budget 2023.”