Global Forest Governance
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Global Forest Governance

Legal Concepts and Policy Trends

Rowena Maguire

This book identifies the fundamental legal principles and the governance requirements of sustainable forest management. An analytical model for assessing forest regulation is created which identifies the doctrinal concepts that underpin forest regulation (justice, property, sovereignty and governance). It also highlights the dominant public international institutions involved in forest regulation (UNFF, UNFCCC and WB) which is followed by analysis of non-state international forest regulation (forest certification and ecosystem markets). The book concludes by making a number of practical recommendations for reform of global forest governance arrangements and suggested reforms for individual international forest institutions.
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Chapter 9: Forest certification schemes

Legal Concepts and Policy Trends

Rowena Maguire


Certification is a mechanism that seeks to implement sustainable forest management through the labelling of consumer products. Such systems are premised on the view that consumers will seek out forest products that are reputably certified.1 Consumer demand for sustainably harvested and produced forest products then creates a market demand for them. This, in turn, leads to the better management and use of global forest resources. The potential economic benefits of forest certification depend primarily upon certification programs being able to generate access to eco-sensitive markets that differentiate and favour certified forest products.2 Access to such eco-sensitive markets provides an economic incentive in the form of a premium price for certified timber. Certification schemes have been used to promote other social and environmental objectives (for example, fair trade and organic schemes). For certification schemes to flourish, there must be sufficient consumer demand, coupled with a willingness by consumers to pay any price premiums associated with the production of the item. Certification programs foster constructive discussions about forest governance and destructive logging practices by increasing awareness of sustainable management alternatives, and enhancing dialogue and cooperation among environmentalists, timber producers, buyers and governments.3

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