International Paper, India, and the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, have signed a memorandum of understanding to engage in research and work on mutual interests in the field of forest sustainability by setting up a Centre of Excellence.
This wide-ranging partnership will entail action research, capacity building and academic exchange involving experts and researchers from both the US-based $24-billion International Paper and IIFM.
The MoU was signed by Giridhar Kinhal (IFS), Director, IIFM, and Rampraveen Swaminathan, President, International Paper, India, and Chairman & Managing Director – IP-APPM.
Giridhar Kinhal in a statement said, “We look forward to learn from International Paper’s global experience and knowledge in India in forestry initiatives that will help augment our processes and promote excellence in our studies.”
“This partnership, as with several others that we have forged globally in the past, will allow us to share our learnings with the industry and academia to make sustainability a part of life,” Swaminathan said.
The collaboration between the organisations also covers training and capacity-building for the students, researchers, and professionals of IIFM. It will provide a common platform to develop training modules and knowledge for the future sectoral workforce.
Under the agreement, the IIFM–IP Paul Brown Centre of Excellence (CoE) would be set up at IIFM to facilitate and anchor activities in the areas of applied forestry research, fibre sustainability and in forestry management.
The collaborative research initiatives include work on common areas such as forestry, fibre sustainability, supply chain management, safety in the forestry and paper industry, dependence of vulnerable communities on natural ecosystems for livelihood and subsistence, and economic valuation of services provided by natural ecosystems, among other issues.