Barriers to Forest Certification in Developing Countries

In the Decade since the conception of forest certification, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has emerged as the most globally recognized scheme. However, the area of FSC certified forests in the highly forested, developing countries of the tropics has remained relatively small small. In this paper, direct and indirect barriers to achieving certification in highly forested (>10 million ha) tropical nations are identified. Direct barriers are defined to be those that alone can stop the establishment of forest certification in a country, whereas indirect barriers negatively impact forest certification. Criteria and indicators for these barriers are developed and used as a tool in determining the presence or absence of each barrier. The analysis indicates that the most significant direct barriers are a lack of land and/or tenure rights; ineffective legislation or policies; poor governance; a weak institutional environment; the cost of certification; and an inability to sell certified forest products. Indirect barriers, such as international influence; political will; consumer buy-in; FSC's mandate and forest management standards, and forest operation size, have hindered certification of forests in the studied countries

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Scandinavian Forest Economics: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics
2006, Number 41
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