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Research Report

Forest Certification:: A Policy Perspective

Christopher Elliott
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2000
Pages: 330
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. xiii-xiii)
    Claude Martin, Jeffrey Sayer and Rodolphe Schlaepfer

    The study of forest policy has traditionally been the affair of specialists and has had limited resonance beyond the forestry community. Fortunately, this is now changing rapidly, as the multiple roles of forests become better understood and the diversity of stakeholders increases. It is now appreciated that forest policy issues are complex, and even fascinating, in their own right, and that understanding them can yield empirical and theoretical insights in fields ranging from anthropology, through ecology to political science. This evolution has been influenced by a number of trends, among which three stand out. The environmental aspects of forest management...

  2. (pp. 1-6)

    Labelling is a feature of all social communication. It is therefore an aspect of public policy. Labelling refers to a relationship of power in that the labels of some are more easily imposed on people and situations than those of others. It is therefore an act of politics involving conflict as well as authority. (Wood 1985: 347)

    Labelling wood products with a mark of quality can be traced back in Europe to a French royal decree of 1637, which stipulated that members of the guild of cabinet makers had to mark the furniture they made (Prad re 1989). The label, which...

  3. (pp. 7-24)

    This chapter introduces forest certification as a policy instrument and shows how it operates in practice. The chapter also presents the two main approaches to certification, one based on management systems and the other based on performance standards. The information in this chapter serves as a basis for the discussion of individual certification programmes later in the thesis.

    Two primary objectives of forest certification have been identified in the literature, together with a number of secondary objectives (Baharuddin and Simula 1994; Upton and Bass 1995; Viana et al. 1996):

    Primary objectives are:

    • to improve the environmental, social and economic...

  4. (pp. 25-41)

    When research for this thesis began in mid-1994, forest certification was just beginning: only four certification systems were operational, two run by NGOs and two by for-profit organisations. There were no national certification programmes. In 1993, it was estimated that about 1.5 million cubic metres of timber was produced annually from certified forests, the largest of which were the government teak plantations in Java, which had been certified in 1990 (Baharuddin and Simula 1994: viii). Under these circumstances, it was not possible to evaluate the impacts of certification in terms of improved forest management or market benefits for producers. Accordingly,...

  5. (pp. 43-71)

    The main focus of this thesis is on the development of certification programmes at the national level in Indonesia, Canada and Sweden. Before examining the situation in these countries it is useful to review the international policy dialogue on certification, concentrating on the period 1990-1997. There are both empirical and theoretical reasons for doing this. It was argued in the introduction to this thesis, that forest certification was initially promoted by international NGOs as a reaction to the failures they perceived in the work of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and Tropical Forestry Action Programme (TFAP) in solving the...

  6. (pp. 73-124)

    Data collection for this case study was carried out during two trips to Indonesia. In 1996, a five-week visit was made in July and August. Most of the time was spent as a visiting fellow at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, with trips to Jakarta to meet government officials, NGOs, academics and representatives of the private sector. A short visit was made to a forest concession and a research site in Kalimantan. In 1997, a one-week visit was made to Jakarta and Bogor in July to collect information on developments in the previous 12 months. An...

  7. (pp. 125-168)

    In this Canadian case study, the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) model was applied to study the policy process leading to the development of a forest certification programme between 1993 and 1997. In Canada, both the primary and secondary literature on forestry in English or French is abundant and readily accessible, which facilitated the compilation of information. Data collection was carried out during four trips to Canada from 1995 to 1997, totalling approximately three months. This included three field visits to forests in New Brunswick and two in British Columbia, as well as participation in numerous meetings and one conference on...

  8. (pp. 169-212)

    In the Swedish case study, the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) was applied to study the development of a forest certification programme, which took place between 1992 and 1997. Unlike in Canada, forest policy is decided at the national level in Sweden, and most forest lands are privately owned. However, forest ownership and forest practices vary across the country and research was carried out in the north, centre and south of Sweden to take account of this.

    Data were collected during three trips to Sweden totalling approximately six weeks. This included field visits to forest operations in the three regions. There...

  9. (pp. 213-237)

    It will be recalled from the introduction that the goal and objectives of this thesis were as follows:

    The goal was to understand which national and international actors are supporting or opposing certification and why, and how certification may contribute towards the improvement of forest management practices.

    The thesis had three objectives in line with this goal:

    1) to describe and analyse the policy process which led to the development of forest certification programmes in Canada, Sweden and Indonesia from a policy network perspective, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) as a theoretical framework;

    2) to contribute to a better...