2021 READINESS AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INTEGRATION PROGRAM CHALLENGE
NOVEMBER 23, 2020 PRE-PROPOSAL DEADLINE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – (October 21, 2020)
Greenville, SC – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it is accepting pre-proposals for the 2021 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program Challenge. The Request for Proposals, downloadable PDF pre-proposal form, list of awards from the previous grant cycle, and other information are available on the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Community’s webpage. The deadline for pre-proposal submission is 8 p.m. EST, Monday, November 23, 2020. Up to $15 million is available for one or multiple awards. Final awards are planned to be announced in May or June of 2021.
The REPI Challenge, established in 2012, is a competitive process to seek projects that accelerate land conservation and military mission protection through innovative partnerships and shared financing.It may provide up to $15 million in for land conservation or management activities that limits incompatible development, enhances military installation resilience, or relieves current or anticipated environmental restrictions at locations hosting key capabilities identified in the National Defense Strategy. Competitive proposals will demonstrate actions that improve military readiness and build a more lethal joint force by protecting investments to assets and platforms in support of one or more key capabilities listed in the Request for Proposals.
Partners are strongly encouraged to coordinate closely with local installation or range staff to verify the presence of key National Defense Strategy capabilities prior to proposal development. The REPI Challenge seeks to engage the private sector to access and tap unconventional and high-leverage sources of funding, attract additional philanthropic support, and take advantage of market-based approaches to advance program goals.
Last year, the 2020 REPI Program awarded $17.2 million that attracted $142 million in partner contributions to seven projects that limit incompatible development, enhance military installation resilience, and relieve current and anticipated environmental restrictions at locations that host key capabilities identified in the National Defense Strategy. The 2020 REPI Challenge will contribute to initiatives benefitting 11 installations and their communities across the country.
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For more information contact:
Peter Stangel, 404-915-2763, firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities – www.usendowment.org
ForesTrust, LLC and the Future of the Global Wood Supply Chain
Blockchain technology to modernize timber tracking and certification
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (October 13, 2020)
Greenville, SC – ForesTrust, LLC was introduced today as the newest venture to take advantage of Blockchain technology, universally recognized as one of the 21st century’s most innovative and powerful applications. This collaboration between the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment), IBM and key stakeholders is designed to provide a cost-effective network to accurately and efficiently track wood and wood fiber from the forest to the consumer.
Research into the viability of utilizing this platform for proof of origin and certification management concluded in late 2019. The Proof of Concept established that Blockchain technology could provide a secure conduit for transparency and traceability across complex value chains and help streamline the administrative components of complicated certification requirements. It demonstrated the program’s ability to provide a neutral infrastructure with technical control shared among users. This is particularly desirable in the forest products industry, which relies heavily on international trade where cooperation is required among numerous participants who must also retain potentially conflicting and/or competing interests. In a system burdened with complex relationships across various regulatory frameworks, Blockchain can provide a tool to promote trust. In addition, improving the ability to confirm the legality of wood and wood product sourcing enhances customer confidence, provides a significant market stimulus, drives efficiencies, and assures conformance with sustainability objectives.
“At the onset of this project, the Endowment was searching for a solution to the increasingly problematic business hurdles in the forest sector,” stated Peter Madden, President of the Endowment. “With the successful completion of the Proof of Concept, we know that the IBM Blockchain Platform addresses several of these issues, providing the means to guarantee the utilization of ‘responsibly sourced wood’ meaning that we could ultimately prevent illegal fiber and log entry into the U.S. With this motivating evidence, our next steps are to identify and implement strategies to accelerate investment and implementation of the ForesTrust Blockchain Network.”
Illegal logging is a systemic problem that results in an annual global market loss of nearly $15 billion, felt along the entire supply chain from the small landowner to the highest levels of government. It is directly tied to forest and wildlife habitat destruction, has a devastating impact on water quality and places pricing pressure on legally sourced fiber. It also contributes to egregious violations of child labor laws.
The 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act were a crucial component in helping stem the trade in illegal timber. However, the interpretation of ‘due care’ gave rise to various enforcement challenges. ForesTrust gives the industry the ability to trace the provenance of the product and ensure authentic import declaration forms. This will go a long way in tackling illegal logging and help guarantee that trading partners mandate forest governance.
“By having transparency into each step of the product’s journey, producers and consumers will have peace of mind about the origins of their fiber and richer insight into its journey and compliance inspections,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President with the Endowment. “ForesTrust will be a permissioned blockchain network that provides an efficient way of working across the fiber supply chain for member landowners, harvesters, producers, logistic suppliers, retailers, regulators, and consumers.”
In working with IBM, ForesTrust will provide a safe and secure network that has the flexibility to accommodate forest industry standards. Companies interested in learning how they can be a part of the ForesTrust LLC Blockchain Network should contact Alicia Cramer, SVP, U.S. Endowment at email@example.com or (205) 792-8650.
About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities:
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.