International Council of Forest and Paper Associations Established

Washington, DC - Trade associations in 39 countries representing industries accounting for 75 percent of the world's paper and more than 50 percent of the world's wood production announced the formal establishment of its first-ever global association, the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA), to work together on issues affecting forest and paper producers around the world. The ICFPA is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to working with other stakeholders to ensure that environmental, social and economic benefits of our natural resources are available to current and future generations.

The members elected W. Henson Moore, President and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), to serve as ICFPA's first president for the term 2002-2004.

"This is an important step for the global forest products community," said ICFPA President W. Henson Moore. "Through the ICFPA, forest and paper associations from around the world will have the opportunity to work together on the global stage."

The main goal of the ICFPA is to serve as a forum for joint action in areas ranging from communications to data collection. ICFPA members will also cooperate on international matters and develop and promote common positions. ICFPA will represent the industry in multilateral organizations, and is launching a website at http://www.icfpa.org.

"Most other industries have a group like this so the industry can speak with one voice on international issues before the UN and other international bodies," said Moore. "Our industry has traditionally been a close partner with national governments in addressing some of the globe's most pressing problems, such as illegal logging and climate change. With the International Council, we can now bring those efforts together and focus our collective efforts on global action."

Forest and paper association leaders from around the world have been meeting informally as a forum to discuss issues of common interest since 1996. Marie S. Arwidson, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries and Chairman of the Forum in 2000-2001 said, "We believe the ICFPA can be a valuable partner to international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)."