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IWPA's McClendon Lauds Forest Legality Alliance Creation

Says New Initiative Promotes Responsible Trade to Protect Forests

Washington, DC – Brent McClendon, executive vice president of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), today lauded the establishment of the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA), calling it “a platform from which we can all work together to enhance the world’s forests by building sustainable trading partnerships around the globe.”

The FLA is a global multi-stakeholder initiative created to support private sector efforts and public policies to reduce trade in illegally harvested wood that is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

At the news event to unveil the FLA, McClendon explained how increased trade in forest products is one of the most successful strategies to reduce deforestation and forest destruction caused by land conversion practices.

“The concept is very simple and time-tested,” McClendon said. “When we create economic incentives, we encourage communities to manage their forests. This leads to their long-term conservation and protection.”

McClendon described the fledgling FLA as a forum “where industry leaders, non-governmental organizations and government officials can come together to promote responsible trade in an effort to support forest dependent communities and the forests that sustain them.”

Craig Hanson, director of WRI’s People and Ecosystems Program, said, “The Alliance seeks to build confidence that imported wood and paper products are legal. Done right, trade supports environmental protection and the Alliance recognizes the role trade plays in protecting our world’s great forests.”

The Alliance includes non-governmental and industry stakeholders such as the World Resources Institute, American Paper & Forest Products Association, Environmental Investigative Agency, Hardwood Federation, IKEA, Retail Industry Leaders’ Association, Staples Inc., and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

For more information about the FLA visit here, or read more about the other work IWPA is doing to promote trade to protect forests, here.



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