Strong action against illegal logging and expansion of forest certification as a global priority were hot topics at the first Global Forest and Paper Summit 2005 in Vancouver.

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA), representing the forest industry in 43 countries worldwide, attracted more than 700 delegates who are committed to sustainable development.

Teresa Presas, managing director of the Confederation of European Paper Industries, said: “Illegal logging not only degrades the environment, for both developing and industrialised nations, it results in a loss of revenues impacting economic growth, and robs local communities, especially in developing nations, of essential funds for health care, sanitation and education.”

Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada and chairman of ICFPA, said: “Stronger, more co-ordinated action by industry, governments and civil society groups against illegal logging will yield real dividends from a social, economic and environmental sustainability perspective over the coming decade.”