Innovative, exciting and pioneering: the 2017 Collaboration Fund projects
11 July 2017 Collaboration Fund
We are delighted to announce the winning projects of the 2017 PEFC Collaboration Fund, each one poised to have a real impact in helping to safeguard forests around the globe!
“We received a fantastic range of projects for this year’s Fund,” said Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International.
“Each year it gets harder and harder to make our choice and I am continually impressed and amazed by the innovations encapsulated in the projects by our partners and members.”
“Through the chosen projects we will be linking urban centers to forest communities, ensuring sustainable charcoal makes it into people’s homes and helping to build vibrant forest communities to avoid migration.”
“We will also support the development of a national system suited to small-forest owners in Croatia, help prepare India for certified products and improve collaboration between our national members,” Sarah concluded.
An urban focus
As the world’s urban population grows, for many of us, the forests can seem very far away. However, the link between forests and cities has never been more important.
The relationship between forests and cities is at the heart of several of this year’s winning projects.
Cities have an enormous effect on our forests, both positive and negative. We are supporting an innovative project by Pilot Projects Design Collective that will link the largest and most influential cities with the most socially and ecologically important forests. It will harness urban resources and consumer power to support community and family-based sustainable forest management.
Throughout Cambodia, charcoal is a major fuel source in people’s homes. As more people move to the cities, the consumption is set to rise. We are therefore assisting GERES (Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity) as they develop a traceability system to ensure that sustainably produced charcoal makes it onto the urban markets.
Globalization and the lure of cities continue to draw young people away from rural areas, leaving many forest communities without their next generation of forest workers. We need new and innovative approaches to engage youth in forestry. This is the aim of the exciting project by the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) embedded at the University of Michigan.
System development, awareness raising and cooperation
Our Collaboration Fund has a long history of supporting the development of national forest certification systems. This year is no different, as we support the Croatian Forest Research Institute (CFRI) through the national system development process. The project has a particular focus on ensuring forest certification is accessible to the country’s growing number of private forest owners.
In India, we are assisting our national member, the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), as they raise the profile of forest certification and develop the market for certified products in India. This will help to ensure demand for certified timber and other forest products once the first forest owners achieve their PEFC certification.
Encouraging cooperation is a core belief of the Collaboration Fund. Led by PEFC Denmark, this year we are supporting our PEFC members in the Nordic and Baltic region as they seek to increase the effectiveness of their joint operations. From coordinated marketing activities to building capacity, this project will ultimately help to increase the reach of PEFC certification in this region.
The PEFC Collaboration Fund encourages locally relevant advancements in the sustainable management of forests and foster collaboration and dialogue amongst different actors. It is part of our work to stimulate the uptake of sustainable forest management, innovate new approaches for forest certification and promote certified products in the marketplace. Since its conception in 2011, the Fund has awarded over three quarters of a million Swiss Francs to 36 projects, with impacts realized in forests and communities all over the world.