La Paz, Bolivia / Managua, Nicaragua, May
25, 2005 —Through its Technical Assistance Facility for Latin America,
the International Finance Corporation is partnering with the World Wildlife
Fund to help the business community improve forest management practices.
WWF and the World Bank Group today announced the Global Forest and Trade
Network, an ambitious program aimed at reducing deforestation rates by
10 percent worldwide by 2010. The announcement was made at the fifth meeting
of the United Nations Forum on Forests. IFC’s participation in this project
is part of its regional initiatives for working actively with the private
sector to promote responsible forest practices.
The IFC and WWF joint program combines forest resource management and sustainable
economic development by building a strong business case for exporting responsibly
produced wood products. The two organizations are developing pilot projects
in Nicaragua and Bolivia that link manufacturers, traders, and forest managers
committed to the business of sustainable forestry. The pilot projects
seek to combat deforestation by:
indigenous communities’ and private landowners’ ability to engage in
sustainable forest management as an alternative to illegal logging;
the supply of responsibly produced wood and wood products;
demand for products made from responsibly produced wood;
business management and production among project participants; and,
opportunities for financing and investment within supply chains.
In Nicaragua, the facility is joining WWF in a one-year pilot project aimed
at strengthening the efficiency and competitiveness of timber producers
and secondary manufacturers by improving market access and building operational
capacity. The project seeks to demonstrate the relationship between
responsible forestry management and the commercial value of wood products.
In Bolivia, currently a world leader in certified wood production, IFC
and WWF are working to integrate responsible community forest producers,
including indigenous communities and local associations, with private manufacturers
in the wood product value chain. The objective is to illustrate that
global markets for wood products derived from well-managed forests represent
a sound economic opportunity for small and medium enterprises.
According to Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean,
“Our technical assistance facility’s goal is to develop local capacity
and sustainability in all its projects. By working with WWF to tailor
pilot projects to the specific needs of a country’s wood sector, the facility
seeks to maximize the impact of its operations.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition
economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances
private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in
the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental
sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed
more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications
for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed
portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion
held for participants in loan syndications.
ABOUT IFC TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FACILITY FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
The IFC Technical Assistance Facility for Latin America and the Caribbean
is a multilateral initiative backed by core IFC funds and program-specific
funds from various donors (including Canada, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland).
The facility's work program is focused on improving the business environment,
enhancing local benefits from IFC investments, and strengthening the competitiveness
of small and medium enterprises. Based in Lima, the facility is operating
in six countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru)
and is exploring opportunities in other countries of the region.
For more information on the WB and WWF alliance, please visit: