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Something exciting "under foot": GFTN and NWFA sign agreement to advance responsible forestry



Posted on 11 July 2012  |  1 comments
WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network and the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), an organization that provides technical support and training for wood flooring professionals, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance the efforts of both organizations to drive responsible forestry in key regions such as the Amazon, Southeast Asia, Congo Basin, China, Russian Far East, and North American forests.

The collaboration aims to engage wood flooring buyers and suppliers, highlight the business value of responsible sourcing, encourage market links between companies committed to responsible forestry and raise awareness of WWF’s Priority Places among US flooring companies.

Under the agreement, GFTN’s technical experts will offer NWFA member companies valuable information on high-risk species and regions and guidance on ways to mitigate risks in their supply chain. GFTN will provide technical assistance to NWFA members who wish to gain more knowledge about their supply chains through methods such as closer supplier engagement, sourcing from GFTN producer companies, implementing robust due care practices for legality, sourcing FSC-certified wood, and utilizing lesser-known species that can take pressure off of rare species that are at risk of overharvesting.

“Flooring is one of the most important products sourced from these forest regions, so this partnership can play a big role in helping NWFA members reduce the negative impact on biodiversity, wildlife and communities,” said Linda Kramme, Manager, GFTN-North America. “This is an exciting opportunity because it allows GFTN to leverage its efforts beyond just one-on-one engagements with participating companies and allows NWFA to advance its mission of bringing valuable resources and information to its members.”

Some NWFA members are already implementing responsible sourcing policies via the organization’s Responsible Procurement Programme (RPP), which was launched in 2009 and is patterned after GFTN’s stepwise approach. RPP’s goal is to harness the power of the U.S. wood flooring industry to promote environmentally and socially responsible forest management and highlights Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification as the lead standard for the industry.

“We’re looking forward to this collaboration, as it provides a concrete way for our members to reduce their risk in areas that historically have had problems with deforestation,” says NWFA President & CEO, Michael Martin. “With the breadth of knowledge and experience WWF brings to the subject, our members can trust they are getting robust information to make sourcing decisions that can protect forests for generations to come.”

For further information, please contact:
Huma Khan, GFTN Communications Manager, 1 202 295 4686, huma.khan@wwfus.org

About GFTN
The Global & Forest Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and encourage the improvement of forest management. GFTN helps facilitate trade links between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry. GFTN upholds an independent forest certification, based on multi-party engagement, as an important tool in promoting forest management and trade in wood products.

About NWFA
NWFA is a US-based wood flooring trade association whose mission is to help advance and promote the wood flooring industry, while bringing valuable resources and information to its members. NWFA has 3,000 members globally, including some that source from WWF’s priority regions.
Amazon forests.
© WWF-Canon / ANDRE BARTSCHI

Comments

  • Silikal Flooring

    This is really good news and a great example of once opposing view points coming together for the betterment of a shared concern. I'd be interested in learning more about the revival of wood restoration/salvaging-seems the market for old lumber & materials has really increased over the last few years.

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