Pune: Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), and International Paper, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to further their mutual interest in the field of forest sustainability. This wide-ranging partnership will entail action research, capacity building and academic exchange involving experts and researchers from both International Paper and Indian Institute of Forest Management. The MoU was signed by Dr. Giridhar Kinhal (IFS), Director – IIFM and Mr. Rampraveen Swaminathan, President – International Paper India.
The highlight of this MoU is the setting up of the “IIFM – IP Paul Brown Center of Excellence” (CoE) at IIFM, Bhopal. This CoE will be established to facilitate and anchor several activities under this partnership – both organizations will collectively carry forward applied research in the field of forestry, fiber sustainability and in forestry management with sharing of best practices, case studies and knowledge sharing. The collaboration between both the organizations also covers training and capacity building for students, researchers and professionals of IIFM.
The functioning of this CoE will be undertaken jointly by IIFM and International Paper which will share its global best practices & learning and will invest towards implementation of the objectives of the MoU.
This collaboration will also provide a common and synergic platform for both IP and IIFM to develop training modules and knowledge for the future sectoral workforce.
“International Paper has decades of knowledge on creating world class products through sustainable practices – methods that help not only conserve the natural resources but actually contribute significantly to maintain and grow the ecosystem. This partnership, as with several others that we have forged globally in the past, will allow us to share our learning’s with the industry and academia to make sustainability a part of life. We are immensely pleased to be partnering with a leading academic institution like IIFM to create this platform as it gives an opportunity to share our experience and expertise with the Paper and Pulp Industry and contribute to the country’s sustainability efforts in the future,” added Mr. Rampraveen Swaminathan, President, International Paper – India and Chairman & Managing Director – IP-APPM.
Broadly the MoU will focus on the following, facilitated and anchored by the Center of Excellence:
· Collaborative Research Initiatives: Includes work on common areas such as forestry, fiber sustainability, supply chain management, safety in forestry & paper industry, dependence of vulnerable communities on natural ecosystems for livelihood and subsistence, economic valuation of services provided by natural ecosystems, gender issues amongst other issues
· Partnership and capacity building of sectoral workforce: Both organizations will share intellectual inputs in developing training modules and products on the subjects of mutual interests for local and national level including current and future sectoral workforce
· Hosting visiting delegations: Together the organizations will facilitate exchange and hosting of distinguished academicians, civil servants and thinkers who will deliver public lectures and conduct seminars and related activities to the issues related to forestry and other related topics. These will be held to promote greater interaction and forge stronger links between academia and other related specialists and professionals
· Exchange of relevant publications: Sharing of research publications undertaken by respective organizations.
After signing the MoU with International Paper, Dr. Giridhar Kinhal (IFS), Director – IIFM said, “We are honored to be chosen as International Paper’s academic partners in their quest for achieving environmental sustainability. We are certain that these initiatives undertaken under the Centre of Excellence (CoE) will enhance the intellectual interaction between both IP and IIFM. We look forward to learn from International Paper’s global experience and knowledge in India in the Forestry Initiatives that will help augment our processes, and promote excellence in our studies.”
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