Online Invasive Species Training for Forest Professionals
Why this project matters
Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms not native to an area whose introduction and spread harms native species and the economy. Most invasive species are unintentionally introduced by humans into places outside their native habitat. A lack of natural predators and diseases mean invasives can often reproduce, spread and survive better than native species. With few limits on their populations they can easily take over sensitive ecosystems — permanently upsetting the balance of plant, insect, bird and animal life.
This project, led by the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, takes a creative approach to online invasives training that will engage forest professionals in preventing the spread of invasives in BC and beyond. The outcome will be healthier forests resulting from educated forest practitioners, who have the knowledge and tools to prevent the spread of invasives.
Why is SFI involved?
Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity on the planet. While this project falls into the community grant category, there are many overlaps with the conservation stream because of the effect of invasive species on biodiversity. The online workshops delivered through this project will build awareness of invasive exotic plants and animals, prevent new introductions, and potentially avoid new occurrences in almost 4 million hectares of forest in BC alone. The resources developed and produced through this project will describe and encourage forest practices that reduce the abundance of invasive exotic plants and animals.
This online invasive species training program has the potential to significantly impact forests in Canada, and across North America, by preventing the spread of invasive species, protecting forest biodiversity and helping SFI partners to meet the performance measures in the SFI Standards. This project will contribute to the standardization of invasive species training across jurisdictional boundaries. The program will broaden the expertise of SFI Program Participants on invasive species prevention and management. SFI Program Participants and the Western Canada SFI Implementation Committee will pilot test the online training, providing feedback to improve the quality and relevance of the online training program.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
This project will train and educate current and future practitioners who are engaged in action affecting the future of our forests through an exciting and relevant online training platform. Once implemented, project leaders hope to connect with SFI Implementation Committees across Canada and the United States for broader deployment. This project aims to engage forest practitioners in the prevention and management of invasive species through collaboration with current training programs.
Additionally, SFI will leverage this project through all active social media channels. SFI will also consider holding a workshop at the SFI Annual Conference for pilot testing the program with a broader audience from across the SFI Implementation Committees network to encourage maximum uptake by forestry professionals.
This partnership includes community volunteers, conservationists, researchers and SFI Program Participants.
- Project lead: Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Western Canada SFI Implementation Committee
- Interfor Corporation (SFI Program Participant)
- BC Timber Sales (SFI Program Participant)
- TimberWest Corporation (SFI Program Participant)
- The Nature Trust of British Columbia: Conservation of Biological Diversity in British Columbia's Interior Forests through Invasive Plant Management
- Fighting Invasive Plants to Conserve Biological Diversity in BC’s Interior Forests (media release).
- SFI Conservation Grant Helps The Nature Trust of BC Protect Unique Ecosystems (media release).
About the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia is a registered charity and non-profit society that is making a difference in the lives of all British Columbians. The council is a dynamic action-oriented organization, helping to coordinate and unite a wide variety of concerned stakeholders in the struggle against invasive species in BC and spearheading behavioral change in gardeners, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, Indigenous people and resource industry and horticultural professionals.
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