Former Canadian Institute of Forestry president Fred Pinto shortlisted for U.N. Forest Hero Award, one of three nominees in North American category

MATTAWA, Ontario , December 19, 2011 (press release) – The Canadian Institute of Forestry-Institut forestier du Canada (CIF/IFC) is pleased to announce that former Institute President Fred Pinto of North Bay, Ontario has made the shortlist for the United Nations International Year of Forests – Forest Heroes Award, one of only three individuals being considered for the prestigious North American category. The award recipient will be announced in January 2012 at a special UN ceremony in New York. Mr. Pinto has been a voluntary member of the CIF/IFC, a national non-profit association of forest professionals for over 30 years, also serving on the National Board of Directors. In 2006 he began a four year term on the Institute’s National Executive, with his presidential year coinciding with the 100 th anniversary of the CIF/IFC in 2008. He is also the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of Forests without Borders. Mr. Pinto is employed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southern Science and Information Section.

Nominated for the UN Forest Hero Award by a special committee of his fellow CIF/IFC members, Mr. Pinto is recognized as the visionary who led the initiative that created the charity - Forests without Borders, dedicated to helping communities throughout the world to restore forest ecosystems and achieve sustainability. Since its inception, Forests without Borders has steadily gained momentum, with fund raising achieved through CIF/IFC membership activities and events. Several international aid projects relating to forest ecosystems are underway, including forest restoration projects in Zambia and Haiti. Mr. Pinto also devotes a great deal of his time to teaching young forest professionals, helping them to develop a broad and balanced understanding of forestry. He has personally overseen University of Toronto annual forestry field camps based at the Canadian Ecology Centre near Mattawa for 15 years, ensuring a diverse and interesting time for Conservation graduate and undergraduate students. He initiated an electronic lecture series in 2007 that today runs almost once every week. These lectures connect hundreds of forest practitioners from across Canada to leading experts. The lectures allow forest practitioners in small remote communities as well as larger communities to obtain the latest information and knowledge related to forests in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner. Mr. Pinto is also an excellent and willing communicator, which is well demonstrated through his many years of work with the Nipissing Naturalists and Bird Studies Canada. As an avid naturalist and birder, he has taken great interest in species at risk, helping these groups to produce a publication that promotes understanding in the Nipissing Forest watershed.

“Fred’s forest volunteer efforts span local, regional, national and international involvement and interest,” said current CIF/IFC President Mark Kube of Edmonton Alberta. “He is always promoting forest sustainability and sound stewardship, recognizing the ecological, the social and the economic importance of forests. The nomination information that our committee submitted to the UN emphasized this extraordinary personal and professional effort.”

“Fred’s positive and unique approach to life and his love of all things relating to the forest is infectious,” said CIF/IFC Executive Director John Pineau. “He has a passion and energy that is unrivalled. Fred is a unique combination of visionary and leader, as well as providing ready and willing hands to get things done. That is the idea behind his vision for Forests without Borders.”

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