The Silva Forest Foundation is a pioneer and leader in the development and application of ecosystem-based conservation planning. Our approach is a practical means of relating to and using Earth in ways that maintain and/or restore biological diversity and natural ecosystem integrity, while fostering the development of diverse, healthy local economies. We are a registered Canadian charity.
After 25 years of bold leadership, founders Herb and Susan Hammond have begun a transition that will see the next generation of Silva continue our tradition of working with communities to develop and implement ecosystem-based plans. Learn more about our transition.
The team collaborates for transition: Susan, Emily and Herb. Photo by Paul Quigley.
Silva’s work with communities across Canada and elsewhere in the world is unique, as it empowers people with ecosystem-based tools for change. We pursue practical, 'on the ground’ results by providing analysis of government and industry plans, ecosystem analyses, land use recommendations, restoration strategies, mapping tools, education and training. Our work is collaborative–working with First Nations, rural communities, and other organizations that share our values—and helps to build bridges between divergent interests.
We frequently start a project by helping communities to appreciate their diversity and develop an expansive, yet practical vision for the future through the process of Appreciative Inquiry. In doing so, we help to build social capacity for taking ecosystem-based approaches.
We invite you to browse through our information-rich site, and imagine how you or someone you know could use ecosystem-based conservation planning in your lives.
Global ecosystems are at risk. We are at risk. In Canada and elsewhere in the world excessive levels of consumption drive the loss of biological diversity and degrade essential ecological processes, like climate regulation and production of high quality water.
The word “ecosystem” begins with the prefix “eco,” which is derived from the Greek word “oiko(s),” meaning house or home. Thus, ecosystem means home system—Earth—our home. We need to develop a new way of thinking about and relating to Earth. This relationship needs to see all parts of ecosystems as identities to be respected, not simply resources to exploit.
“Our community forest gives us the power to reestablish Xaxli’p control over our land and cultural resources. Silva’s help has been vital to achieving this goal.”
– Herman Alec, Xaxli’p elder and Community Forest Board Chair
“Silva’s approach is not just talk and theory; it’s on-the-ground practice. At a time when there are immense changes happening worldwide with our natural ecosystems, it is so important to maintain whole systems. Working, as Silva does, with natural processes and not against them, we will be able, with time, to assist nature to restore itself. This is a responsibility that Silva has taken to heart, and one that all of us need to embrace.”
– Dr. Nancy Turner, Ethnobotanist
“I live in Harrop-Procter, a small, rural BC community where protection of surface water supplies is critical. Silva was instrumental in helping us achieve BC’s first Ecosystem-Based Community Forest Tenure, which gives protecting water the first priority. The Harrop-Procter Community Forest is now thriving, a testament to the effectiveness and viability of Silva’s work.”
– Rami Rothkop, Harrop-Procter Community Forest Founding Director
September 14, 2016
Filmmaker Leanne Allison becomes the newest member of our Board of Directors. Among Leanne's projects is award-winning documentary Bear 71. Learn more about her professional work through Necessary Journeys.
July 21, 2016
Ecosystem-based restoration plan underway in Vancouver and Burnaby, thanks to the generous support of the Greenest City Fund of the Vancouver Foundation, and the Charles and Lucille Flavelle Family Fund held at the Vancouver Foundation. Read our media release to learn more.
June 22, 2016
Meet the new face of Silva. Emily Doyle-Yamaguchi is our future Executive Director-in training and is mentoring under Susan and Herb on all things ecosystem-based planning. Learn more about our transition.
June 16, 2016
Welcome to our new Board members! Joining us are forester and ecologist Heather Pritchard, urban planner and SFU instructor Sean Markey and ecologist and UNBC instructor Scott Green. Learn more about the diverse skills and experience of our Board members.