The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Conservation Grants Program supports collaborative projects that engage non-profit organizations, SFI-certified organizations and other stakeholders, and that support SFI’s mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaboration. Since 2010, SFI has awarded 66 SFI Conservation Grants totaling more than $4 million to foster research and pilot efforts to better inform future decisions and best management practices for managing our forests. When leveraged with project partner contributions, total investment exceeds $15 million.
In addition to conservation, SFI’s four pillars of work include standards, community and education. SFI’s certification standards have become the fastest growing, highly trusted solution supporting the growing need for sustainable forest products. SFI completed a revision of the SFI Forest Management Standard and the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard in early 2021, including new requirements for climate-smart forestry practices, fire resiliency and awareness, and enhanced requirements for biodiversity, water outcomes, Indigenous relations, and much more.
The SFI Conservation Grants Program strives to quantify and demonstrate the value of SFI-certified forestlands, and lands providing fiber through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard, toward mitigating climate change impacts, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting water resources. SFI Conservation Grant projects, as part of the SFI Conservation Impact Project, help quantify the impact of the standards and support continual improvement through the identification and implementation of best management practices at scale.
The 2021 SFI Conservation Grants program will seek to address gaps in past Conservation Impact work, identify best management practices toward attainment of existing and new requirements in the SFI standards, and find opportunities to expand or deepen understanding gained from previous project outcomes.
Grants typically range from $25,000 to $50,000 per project annually, but more extensive projects may be considered based on merit. Projects can be up to three years in duration. Projects will commence in the 2022 calendar year. Successful applicants will be contractually obligated to specify reporting timelines, project deliverables (and other specifics regarding project implementation and delivery) and agree to work closely with SFI to promote and communicate project outcomes.
The SFI Conservation Grants Program seeks to build understanding of the value of SFI certification relative to climate change, biodiversity, and water. Proposals should be structured in such a way as to test the validity of the hypotheses outlined in the RFP instructions and criteria document (link below), and/or survey to identify best management practices in support of these hypotheses, or build on past Conservation Impact work, relative to lands certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard or lands providing fiber through the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.