This paper analyses the development of certification programmes in three countries (Indonesia, Canada and Sweden) using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) as a theoretical reference point. The ACF is an actor-based framework for analysing policy processes and has not previously been applied in a developing country. Actors in the three countries took different approaches to certification. In Canada, in a programme development process supported by the forest products industry, a management systems approach was taken. In Sweden, performance standards were developed in a process initially driven by NGOs. In Indonesia, certification was led by an NGO within a framework established by government, and a performance standards approach was used. The paper concludes that forest certification can be best understood as a policy instrument that promotes and facilitates policy-orientated learning among actors, and provides indirect incentives for improved forest management. Learning occurs both as the standards to be used for certification are developed, and as they are implemented. The benefits of learning and consensus building among actors (such as NGOs, forest companies, private forest owners, indigenous peoples, governments, etc.) who have traditionally been in conflict with each other can be significant. On the other hand, where fundamental changes in forest policy (such as tenure and forest revenue reform) are needed, certification should not be seen as a substitute for these A further conclusion is that, while public policies change over periods of decades, the private policies of retailers and forest product companies can adapt more rapidly to changing circumstances. The concept of a ‘fast track’ of private policy change, compared to the slower track of governmental policy change, is therefore proposed and described. A number of interesting theoretical and empirical avenues for further research on certification are discussed.
As public awareness of the problem of deforestation has grown, a variety of consumer-based approaches to addressing the issue have emerged. One of the most innovative of those is forest product certification. Products derived from forests that have been managed and harvested in a sustainable manner are certified as such, thus providing consumers with a direct means of addressing deforestation and creating a positive incentive for improving forest management practices around the world.This volume presents an overview of the mechanics, background, and implications of voluntary certification programs. It features perspectives from all parties involved, from both southern and northern hemispheres, including the forest products industry, indigenous communities, academics, biologists, certifiers, policymakers, environmental activists, and retailers.Among the topics considered are: the development of market-based conservation initiatives elements involved in certification biological aspects of forest auditing implications of forest product certification importance of cooperation among all parties involved The book traces the history of certification, the development of an internationally agreed upon set of forest management principles, and the various certification programs currently underway. In addition to providing the most current information on the certification process itself, it includes a valuable discussion and analysis of the social and political context in which certification must function.Certification of Forest Products brings clarity to a highly debated and poorly understood topic, and is an important work for anyone concerned with deforestation and the methods available for addressing it.
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