Thank you Madam Chair,

I am speaking on behalf of the International Council of Forests and Paper Associations which represents the responsible forest and paper industries from 43 countries.

I would like to address the role of the private sector as a positive force in achieving the common goals as agreed to in the UN Millennium Declaration and the United Nations Forum on Forests.

The responsible members of the ICFPA have a commitment to three sets of values and a commitment to action in three areas:

Three Important Values of the Private Industry Sector

  1. Halting of deforestation and maintaining ecosystem integrity
  2. Contributions to poverty reduction and poverty alleviation
  3. Ensuring that the forest industry benefits local communities

Three Important Commitments to Action by the Private Industry Sector

  1. It is imperative that we end illegal logging in all areas of the world.  I challenge all actors to join us in this effort.  The private sector is willing and anxious to work with governments, environmental non-governmental organizations, local communities and others to achieve this goal.
  2. We are committed to an expansion of sustainable forest management certification around the world.  Currently 90% of the certified forests are in the developed nations and the result of actions by the private sector.  Sustainable forest management must be expanded to all areas of the world, and certification is one means to help achieve this. Again, I challenge all governments, NGO’s, and others to work with the forest products industry to make sustainable forest management through certification around the world.
  3. We will work with local communities and land owners, public and private, to ensure that local communities benefit from their forests.  Local communities will protect and value their forests as long as they receive benefits from them.  In order for our industry to continue to thrive, forests must be valued by people and communities.

In conclusion Madam Chair, I would like to stress that the private sector is often characterized as part of the problems related to forests, but the responsible members of the forest products industry are committed to actions to help in halting deforestation and ending illegal logging, reducing poverty and ensuring that local communities benefit from forest management.