Publication Details

Status of Forest Certification

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Espinoza, Omar; Buehlmann, Urs; Dockry, Michael

Year Published

2013

Publication

In: 4th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing 2013, 7th-9th October 2013 Florence, Italy. 2013; pp. 298-305.

Abstract

Forest certification systems are voluntary, market-based initiatives to promote the sustainable use of forests. These standards assume that consumers prefer products made from materials grown in an environmentally sustainable fashion, and this in turn creates incentives for companies to adopt responsible environmental practices. One of the major reasons for the creation of forest certification systems was to prevent deforestation in tropical forests. However, after 20 years of certification, only 10% of the global forest area is certified, mostly in countries that, arguably, alreadypracticed responsible forest management before certification. Only 2% of tropical forests have been certified (81 million hectares), while in the same period 283 million hectares were lost to deforestation. Africa and Latin America are the only regions with a net loss of forest area in the 2000-2010 decade. In this paper, the status of forest certification is analyzed, and challenges and opportunities are evaluated using the case of Bolivia. In a short period of time, Bolivia became the leader in tropical forest certification. However, in recent years, the area of Bolivian forestunder certification has fallen sharply; and deforestation has actually increased in the 2000-2010 period, compared with the previous decade. This research tries to uncover the reasons for the rapid initial growth of certification in Bolivia and its subsequent decline. The information generated from this research is valuable input for policymakers and support organizations to better assist countries with their efforts to sustainably manage their forests.

Citation

Espinoza, Omar; Buehlmann, Urs; Dockry, Michael. 2013. Status of Forest Certification. In: 4th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing 2013, 7th-9th October 2013 Florence, Italy. 2013; pp. 298-305.

Last updated on: August 13, 2014