Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi is the President of the International Publishers Association Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), has formed the International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) Plan Taskforce to identify key pandemic-induced challenges facing publishers and promote cooperation on the way forward.

The development following IPA’s landmark report ‘From Response to Recovery: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Publishing Industry’.

Over 30 global publishing trade associations and book fairs have signed a charter to inspire a sustainable post-COVID future for the sector and overcome the challenges it faces.

‘Livelihoods at risk’

Al Qasimi said: “Publishing is facing an uncertain recovery if our industry doesn’t come together. While developed publishing markets have fared better, our colleagues in emerging publishing markets are facing existential challenges. The global pandemic doesn’t just affect publishers – the livelihoods of millions of publishers, authors, illustrators, printers, distributors, and booksellers around the world are at risk.”

She called on all organisations committed to positively shaping global publishing’s post-pandemic future to join the charter. “The InSPIRe Charter is a formal framework for coordinated action, so the entire publishing ecosystem can learn and move forward together in these unprecedented times.”

Areas of cooperation

The charter is one of the first achievements of the taskforce. Charter signatories have committed to industry-wide cooperation on a forthcoming plan for the post-pandemic future of publishing. By endorsing the Charter, signatories have agreed to ten areas of cooperation targeting the sector’s interactions with policymakers but also building inter-sector dialogue and closing skill gaps.