Grant – NatureServe – Biodiversitysfiprogram2020-08-04T10:08:27-04:00
Devising New Ways to Measure Biodiversity Across Millions of Acres
Measuring the Conservation Value of Forests Certified to SFI in Bi-national Pilot Areas of the U.S. and Canada
Why this project matters
The conservation value of managed forests can be poorly understood and is often negatively perceived by people outside the forest sector. Even for experts working within the forest sector, the ability to quantify and express the conservation values associated with managed forests is challenging. This project is building on previous work by taking several major steps towards quantifying conservation values at a large spatial and ecological scale.
Based on work already completed by NatureServe in the continental U.S., it will implement proposed metrics of biodiversity and conservation value and modify those metrics where needed. This work directly responds to the goal of quantifying the contribution of forests certified to SFI toward the attainment of broadly accepted conservation goals in landscapes of conservation interest.
How the project helps break new ground in measuring conservation
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program is supporting this project. NatureServe is collaborating with project partners to produce a metrics-based evaluation of the conservation value of lands certified to SFI that straddle the New Brunswick–Maine border. A major objective of this project is to develop metrics that can be scaled up more broadly and potentially be used by any SFI Program Participant throughout the vast SFI footprint, which covers 305 million acres/124 million hectares.
Eight current metrics have been developed for three U.S. pilot areas, divided among themes of species, ecosystem, and landscape conservation. By extending these metrics to a new bi-national forest ecosystem, we will have sufficient pilot metrics to appeal to any SFI Program Participant, anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. Since the geographic scope of this project is specifically designed around attaining 100% inclusion of lands certified to SFI in the project analysis footprint, another outcome will be the first comprehensive assessment of SFI contributions to conservation values across a given region.
This NatureServe project represents the latest in an ongoing effort to develop strong partnerships across Canada and the U.S. to enhance conservation. Working with NatureServe will allow SFI Program Participants to scale up work to a national level, and ultimately inform continental conservation of some species. This will complement the work of a range of SFI partners in establishing and enhancing the conservation value of lands certified to SFI.
The project is also directly supported by Resource Management Service, Hancock Natural Resource Group, and J.D. Irving. These SFI Program Participants will provide in‑kind data support to help NatureServe in characterizing the conservation values of their certified land base. These partners will also contribute data, expertise, and analysis coordination.
How the project helps forest managers
This project will allow the application of existing conservation value metrics to all lands certified to SFI within an analysis area, so land managers can report, for the first time, the collective SFI conservation impact in a given area. Reporting products will include metrics definition, development, application, results, interpretation, and testing and refinement for expansion into new geographies and new forest ecosystems, emphasizing replicability and transferability. Visually intuitive maps and metric report cards will contribute important outreach materials for communicating project results and inspiring other SFI Program Participants to pursue metrics development for their managed forest lands.
This partnership includes conservationists, researchers, and SFI Program Participants.
Project lead: NatureServe
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Boreal Avian Modeling Project
American Bird Conservancy
National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI)
Resource Management Service (SFI Program Participant)
Hancock Natural Resource Group (SFI Program Participant)
NatureServe empowers people to sustain biodiversity by making sure everyone has access to the knowledge they need to be better stewards of our shared lands and waters. NatureServe is an authoritative source of comprehensive, decision-quality biodiversity data.
NatureServe provides the scientific knowledge that supports informed decisions. Together, with its network of over 80 programs, NatureServe collects decision-quality data about imperiled species and entire ecosystems, transforms that data into knowledge products and visualizations, and provides meaning through expert analyses and support to guide decision-making, implement action, and enhance conservation outcomes.
Dear SFI Community,
I’d like to share an update from SFI on our strategies to ensure smooth operations as well as some adjustments we have made with regards to upcoming events in light of COVID-19. The following reflects our best efforts to keep our teams and our interactions with our community as safe and healthy as possible, and to provide you with some certainty with regards to upcoming events and dates.
REACHING SFI STAFF
SFI staff continue to be fully operational and able to support any needs or questions you may have about SFI programs. In order to ensure the health and safety of our team, all SFI employees are currently working remotely and we have the systems in place to allow us to be fully accessible by email, phone, and video call. You can find contact information for staff on our website or can send general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.
SFI/PLT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SFI is canceling all scheduled in-person meetings and workshops through June, with alternative virtual arrangements being developed, as follows:
PROJECT LEARNING TREE CANADA GREEN JOBS SUMMIT
The planned March 23-24 Summit has been redesigned as an e-summit on March 23, bringing youth together from across Canada to discuss green career pathways.
CONSERVATION IMPACT SOUNDING BOARD WORKSHOP
The planned May 20-21 workshop will be redesigned as a webinar on May 20 focused on the intersection of Conservation Impact research and the developing 2022 SFI Standards, with a particular focus on carbon and climate change.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE COORDINATORS’ CONFERENCE
The planned June 8-12 conference in Bremerton, WA, has been postponed until 2021 at the same location. In lieu of the 2020 conference, plans are underway to host a one-day virtual event on June 10 or 11 offering professional development and networking to the PLT Coordinators and partners.
STANDARD REVISION WORKSHOPS
These May/June workshops were designed as regional opportunities to comment on proposed revisions and enhancements to the SFI Standards. SFI still plans to release the next draft Standards by May 1 and conduct a 60-day comment period through the end of June. Instead of the in-person workshops, we will conduct dedicated webinars focused on specific themes and requirements in the Standards, as follows:
Logger Training and Education
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Conservation of Biological Diversity
Chain of Custody, SFI Labels and Claims, and Controversial Sources
SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE REGIONAL MEETINGS
These May/June meetings were planned to coincide with the Standard Revision Workshops and were designed to provide opportunities for SIC members to engage on bi-national SFI priorities and share best practices across committees. These will instead be conducted as regional webinars, with dates coming soon.
Join SFI’s E-Summit, Growing Solutions, to share ideas about how sustainably managed forests, and products sourced from those forests, are great tools in moving towards shared sustainability goals.
This year, SFI is hosting a one-day E-Summit on October 22 to bring our network together to engage around the work SFI is doing across its 4 pillars to achieve our mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
We appreciate your continued support of SFI and look forward to connecting with you through one of these many opportunities.