The Making of International Environmental Treaties

The Making of International Environmental Treaties

Neoliberal and Constructivist Analyses of Normative Evolution

Gerald Nagtzaam

Gerry Nagtzaam contends that in recent decades neoliberal institutionalist scholarship on global environmental regimes has burgeoned, as has constructivist scholarship on the key role played by norms in international politics. In this innovative volume, the author sets these interest- and norm-based approaches against each other in order to test their ability to illustrate why and how different environmental norms take hold in some regimes and not others.

Chapter 5: Let’s Be Careful, It’s a Jungle Out There: The International Tropical Timber Organization and Sustainable Forestry

Gerald Nagtzaam

Subjects: environment, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


* Death is one thing: an end to birth is something else1 INTRODUCTION Many people today worry about the destruction of our tropical forests and what this may entail for species diversity and climate change.2 The ensuing global debate has crystallized to a great extent around the logging that is generally perceived as the main cause of deforestation.3 On the other hand, * A version of this chapter appears as ‘The International Tropical Timber Organisation and Conservationist Forestry Norms: A Bridge Too Far’, Journal of South Pacific Law, 13, no. 2 (2009). 1 Drs Michael E. Soule and Bruce A. Wilcox. Quoted in Norman Myers, ‘The Future of Forests’, in The Fragile Environment: The Darwin College Lectures ed. Laurie Friday and Ronald Laskey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 29. 2 Jutta Brunnee, ‘A Conceptual Framework for an International Forests Convention: Customary Law and Emerging Principles in Global Forests and International Law’, in Global Forests and International Law, ed. Canadian Council of International Law (London: Kluwer Law International, 1996), 41. What constitutes a tropical forest remains contested. Marie-Claude Smouts, Tropical Forests, International Jungle: The Underside of Global Ecopolitics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 5. There is a tendency to treat tropical forests as ‘monolithic’ in nature, whereas in reality there are many different types of tropical forests ranging from rainforests in the wetter equatorial and tropical areas to semi-deciduous and deciduous forests. Duncan Poore, Changing Landscapes: The Development of the International Tropical Timber Organization and its Influence on Tropical Forest Management (London and...

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