MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S FOREST CARBON AND CLIMATE PROGRAM
E-Learning Unit on Carbon and Climate Benefits in Well-Managed Forests
Supporting the Forest Carbon and Climate Program: Specialized Course Content and Participant Sponsorship
Why this project matters
Michigan State University’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program will work in partnership with SFI to develop robust e-learning content explicitly linking working certified forests with carbon management and associated climate benefits and delivering the learning materials to a diverse pool of participants. Increased access to education on topics of forest carbon management and climate change mitigation will increase the demand for certification and certified sustainable products.
This project will extend the benefits of certification and certified products to underserved, remote, and tribal communities, including family forestlands. It will also play a role in connecting families to forests across multiple generations by developing a connection between sustainable communities and housing development activities, sourcing certified forest products, and the growing interest and concern about climate change.
Why is SFI involved?
The standalone module will be an important and flexible learning tool teachers can leverage in secondary classrooms to engage and educate youth. This will strengthen understanding and appreciation of the ecological services forests provide, including sustainable wood products, carbon storage, and other co‑benefits.
One of SFI’s priorities is to connect youth to forests through education. We look for ways to instill a lifelong appreciation for the value forests represent for biodiversity, the wider environment, sustainable communities, responsibly sourced forest products and for our shared quality of life. The educational focus of this project also supports SFI’s focus on encouraging the next generation of future forest leaders.
SFI is also committed to enhancing our understanding of the role that forest play in carbon storage. To facilitate good decision-making, and to help make the case for the value of sustainability, the SFI Conservation Impact Project is working to quantify the conservation benefits of SFI’s work, and the connection between sustainable supply chains and important conservation outcomes. By clarifying these conservation attributes, SFI will help make the link between well-managed forests and the public benefits, like carbon storage, that affect each of us every day.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
The Forest Carbon and Climate Program has established a relationship with the Michigan SFI Implementation Committee to link the proposed project activities with local SFI networks, outreach efforts, and community-based activities. The incentives to measure conservation values are diverse and serve to build connections between brand owners seeking to understand the impact of their supply chain sourcing. Measuring conservation values also helps conservation stakeholders engage more effectively with SFI if they understand the values that certification can provide. Improved tracking will also better equip SFI to provide sustainability related metrics and contribute meaningfully to conservation outcomes.
This partnership includes academics, forestry professionals and SFI Program Participants.
Project lead: Michigan State University’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Weyerhaeuser (SFI Program Participant)
International Paper (SFI Program Participant)
Michigan SFI Implementation Committee
Society of American Foresters
Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute
SFI launches Conservation Impact Project to deliver metrics for well-managed forests (media release).
Michigan State University Forestry Department: Forest Carbon & Climate Program (fact sheet).
About the Michigan State University’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program
Michigan State University’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program aims to increase understanding and implementation of climate-smart forest management, which inextricably links climate change mitigation and adaptation. The program focuses on activities that advance best practice implementation, promote robust and inter-disciplinary understanding of forest benefits and co-benefits, and develop and nurture balanced perspectives that include working forests and forest products as a part of the climate change solution. These objectives are achieved through working with strategic partners to better communicate and bring attention to key topics, create educational content and programming, and bridge dialogue gaps on carbon and climate topics related to forests and forested lands.