Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore), leading environmental experts and industry leaders will brief journalists next Wednesday on a new initiative to curb trade in illegal wood. The event, moderated by Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), will launch the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA), a global initiative to help companies remove illegal wood from their supply chains and reduce reputational risks. Panelists will also discuss new laws to combat illegal logging, including the amended U.S. Lacey Act.

The initiative is spearheaded by WRI, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The founding alliance members are the American Forest & Paper Association, the Hardwood Federation, IKEA, the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), NewPage Corporation, the Retail Industry Leaders’ Association, Staples Inc., and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Spokespeople from each organization will be available for interviews following the event.

Jonathan Lash, president, WRI
Earl Blumenauer, congressman, Oregon
Allan Thornton, president, EIA
Mark Suwyn, chairman, NewPage Corporation
Brent McClendon, executive vice president, IWPA
Alexandria L. Panehal, acting deputy assistant administrator, Bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, USAID

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
(Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.)

World Resources Institute
10 G Street NE Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002
(Metro: Red Line to Union Station)

Call-in Details
1-800-610-4500 (Toll Free in USA and Canada)
1-702-851-3339 (for callers outside USA and Canada)
Passcode: 5184429

Email Questions: Camilo Ramirez at cramirez@wri.org

RSVP: Jessica Forres, WRI media officer, +1(202)729-7736, jforres@wri.org