Forests and Forest Products, a Culture to be Rediscovered
Why this project matters
The Forests and Forest Products, A Culture to be Rediscovered Program, from the Association forestière Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, has a track record of delivering tangible and measurable results when it comes to connecting youth to forests through education. Making these connections is good for youth because it can inspire a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and open up rewarding career paths. Forests benefit too as youth enhance their understanding of the central role forests play when it comes to environmental, recreational and economic values.
The association tours elementary schools from September until June offering a half-day program that takes place in classrooms and in woodlots near schools for fourth-, fifth- and sixth‑grade students. The program reaches about 12,000 students every year. School-based forest education aims to educate youth about the social, economic, ecological and cultural importance of the forest environment and sustainable forest management. The association also wants to promote forestry and wood as an element of sustainable development and to interest young people in careers in forestry.
Why is SFI involved?
Connecting youth to forests is a key focus at SFI. Fostering an appreciation and understanding of the natural world is critical to healthy mental and physical development in youth. But today’s American and Canadian kids spend more time indoors than previous generations. That’s why a key component of SFI’s community engagement is educating youth and getting them outdoors, to ensure they can be effective future leaders and have a strong understanding of the value of responsibly managed forests.
Forests and Forest Products, A Culture to be Rediscovered gets kids outdoors and potentially opens up STEM-based career options. Workshops organized with college- and university‑level STEM and architecture technology students are designed to generate interest in forestry and forest products and related technical careers and professions.
The Quebec SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) will work to help ensure connections to forest products certified to SFI and Project Learning Tree materials. Project Learning Tree, an SFI program, is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. Forests and Forest Products, A Culture to be Rediscovered offers an opportunity to expand PLT Canada, an initiative of SFI, in Quebec.
How the Project Builds SFI Community Engagement
This is a great program to engage a variety of youth, from primary grades to technical schools that also include architectural students. The primary partner is the Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks but multiple schools, regional municipalities and Employment Quebec are also included. The support of the Quebec SIC will also build connections between SFI Program Participants, youth, educators, and government officials at the municipal and provincial levels.
This partnership includes SFI Program Participants, youth, educators, and government officials.
Project lead: Association forestière Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Quebec SFI Implementation Committee
Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks
Five regional municipalities
Four school districts (Rives du Saguenay, Lac St. Jean, Pays de Bluets, de la Jonquiere)
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience Program
Project Learning Tree, an SFI program, is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
Funding from SFI helps the Earth Rangers School Assembly Program offer a curriculum-linked assembly presentation, for grades 1 to 6, that uses science-based information to educate students about the importance of conserving biodiversity across Canada.
About the Association forestière Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean
Founded in 1942, the Association forestière Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (French only) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, informing and educating the regional population about the importance of forests, the environment and sustainable development. The association uses interactive educational workshops in schools and forests, and its annual conference, for training and knowledge transfer. The Forest Products, A Culture to be Rediscovered Program works to help the residents of the Lac Saint-Jean area understand the challenges facing forests as well as their economic, social, environmental and cultural importance from a sustainable development perspective.
COPY LINK: https://www.forests.org/grantsaguenay/
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
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.