WWF, USAID, and Metafore launch global alliance for responsible forest management
The Home Depot, Andersen Windows are first corporate partners.
Representatives from the private, government, and corporate sectors launch the Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance.
Washington, DC, US – WWF, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Metafore (formerly the Certified Forests Products Council) have entered into an innovative partnership that will channel approximately US$7.6 million to programmes to promote responsible forest management and reduce illegal trade in forest products in countries receiving aid from the US government.
In a ceremony held yesterday in Washington, DC, WWF-US President Kathryn S. Fuller, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios, and Metafore President, and CEO David Ford signed an agreement launching the unique public-private partnership, called the Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance (Global Alliance). The Home Depot announced support of US$1 million while Andersen Windows signaled its intention to announce support soon.
"Because over 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihood, forest conservation and economic development are closely linked," said WWF’s Kathryn Fuller. "This innovative approach combining the private, corporate, and governmental sectors presents a win-win situation for all parties involved."
The Home Depot is the lead corporate partner in the Global Alliance and is providing US$1 million over three years to the Global Alliance partners to support their efforts.
"To satisfy our corporate commitment to forest conservation, The Home Depot depends on a reliable supply of wood products from responsibly managed forests. That’s why supporting the Global Alliance makes so much sense for us," said Ron Jarvis, The Home Depot’s vice president of merchandising. "Together with like-minded strategic partners such as Andersen Windows, The Home Depot will support efforts to promote responsible forestry and curb illegal logging for years to come."
"This partnership has enormous potential to curb the environmental destruction associated with illegal logging in producer countries, while contributing to the economies of both producer and consumer countries," said Administrator Natsios, who spoke at the ceremony.
Forests are an essential natural resource which provide sustenance and income to people around the world, as well as providingwildlife habitat. The Global Alliance will encourage responsible forest management and reduce illegal trade in forest products by facilitating integration of certified forest products into world markets.
WWF believes that forest certification, a system of independently auditing forest management practices and verifying the origin of forest products, can promote responsible forest management that gives weight to social values, environmental conservation and economic benefits. Forest certification has the potential to be instrumental in curbing illegal logging. The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs developing country governments more than US$5 billion per year in lost taxes and other revenues.
USAID plays a key role in this partnership by providing US$3.4 million to the Global Alliance partners. WWF, Metafore, and other partners have pledged funding to match USAID’s initial investment over three years, and they are encouraging other partners to support the Global Alliance.
WWF and Metafore, together with organizations such as Forest Trends and the USDA Forest Service, will focus on the development and application of global building blocks for responsible forestry, creating market linkages for certified products in key markets, increasing the supply of certified wood products in key producing countries, and building demand for responsible forest products.
Note to Editors:
1. B-roll featuring examples of illegal logging and sustainable forestry management available. Contact Kerry Green Zobor at +1 202 778 9509
2. Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2002 sales of US$58.2 billion. The company employs approximately 296,000 associates and has 1,662 stores in 50 states, Puerto Rico, seven Canadian provinces, and Mexico. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:HD) and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
3. The mission of Metafore
is to conserve, protect, and restore the world's forests by promoting responsible forest products buying practices.
4. The US Agency for International Development
has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
5. Established in 1905, the Forest Service
is an agency of the US Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands.
6. The mission of Forest Trends
is to maintain and restore forest ecosystems by promoting incentives that diversify trade in the forest sector, moving beyond exclusive focus on lumber and fibre to a broader range of products and services.
For further information:
Forest Programme Officer, WWF-US
Tel: +1 202 778 9739