What Is the IFL and How Does It Affect International Trade?
Most people are unaware of the fact that the IFL or the International Forest and Paper Conference is a two week meeting that occurs in New Orleans during the second week of May each year. The main topic of the IFL is to find solutions to forest preservation and environmental degradation, which are largely caused by the commercialization of arable land in the Global South. This conference brings together IFL nations for discussions on how to strengthen their agricultural sectors in a bid to sustain the regional food supply, while also promoting sustainable economic growth for all. Many countries such as China and India are providing valuable contributions to the agenda of the IFL through their agricultural sector. Although this is an international gathering, most governments have sent special interest delegations to attend the IFL to solicit assistance and suggest solutions.
During the second week of May, the countries participating in the IFL hold their first meeting of the “Conference on Forests and Industrial Research”. This meeting discusses the issues of the global demand for food, fuel and the forest sector. The delegates of these countries will then elect a rapporteur, who will be responsible for formulating a report on the working of their agricultural sector in the IFL. Once this report is ready, it will be presented to the members for them to adopt and put into practice.
Delegation of responsibility for the agricultural sector to IFL member states allows developing countries to ensure that their interests are protected in the agricultural sector. Developed countries that are experiencing rapid and significant increases in their per capita gross domestic product, but are finding it difficult to meet the increased demand for agricultural products, are a great source of candidates for exporting goods. By creating a free trade area, such as the IFL, these countries can improve the competitiveness of their goods sector and increase their exports, opening up additional markets for local producers.