Forest Certification and Government Regulatory Systems Examples

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					Forest Certification and Government
Regulatory Systems: Examples form
       Developing Countries

       USDA Forest Service:
       Global Forestry Forum

          Gerardo Segura

            January, 2004.
          Context of the Origins of Certification

   Severe deforestation and degradation of forest ecosystems
    in the 1970’s and 1980´s

   Unfruitful international and national efforts to take action
    and ensure SFM

   New and more complex political and economic realities
    (e.g. new pressures for local control, globalization, new
    forms of inequity)

   New local and international demands on governments to
    ensure a broader spectrum of public and private benefits
    form forestry.

   New pressures of local sake-holders and civil society on
    governments to have more control over forest issues (e.g.
    land tenure, management and conservation).
    Responses and Involvement of Governments in

   Initially perceived by most timber producing and
    exporting countries as an external imposition that could
    pose a treat to governments and the private sector
    (barrier to trade)

   Active participation in promoting the adoption of
    international systems (e.g. FSC in Austria, Netherlands
    and Mexico)

   Strong support to the creation of non-governmental
    national certification programs (e.g. Indonesia, Malaysia,
    Canada and Finland)

   Promotion for developing regional schemes (e.g.
    Cameroon, Ghana and Gabon in W. Africa; Malaysia in SE

   Stimulate compliance and strengthen
    enforcement of local regulations

   Improve national definitions and standards for
    SFM through participatory processes

   Improve forest and environmental regulations

   Gain credibility by certifying public forests

   Advance in international policy dialogues to
    achieve SFM (e.g. UNFF, UNCBD, FAO, ITTO)

   Acceptance and spread of certification schemes
    that may be in conflict with local policies

   Proliferation of certification schemes that could
    create confusion among consumers

   Challenge government rights over public forest

   Trade barrier that discriminates against poor
    communities and small land owner
      Policy Context of Market Oriented Certification

                      Forest                                    Environmental
                      policy                                        policy
“hard”                             Regulation

                               Sustainable Forest

“soft”            Market                and social quality of
               communication                 products

                                   Market for
                                forest products

 From Bass and Simula, 1999
                Country Case Characteristics

                       Cameroon       Mexico        Bolivia      Malaysia

Forest Sector             Long        Recently      Recently        Long
Condition              Significant   Significant   Significant   Significant

Conditions for good     Limited      Moderate      Moderate      Moderate

Certification System      N/A           FSC           FSC      National
                                                    (National (Stepwise)
Area under                N/A         518,600       947,000       2.86 M
   Influence of Certification on Government Policy
                 Processes for SFM

                         Cameroon   Mexico     Bolivia   Malaysia

Contribution to more       High     Moderate    High       High
participatory forest
policy processes

Direct Influence on       Limited   Limited    Limited   Limited
forest policy change
(regulations and
institutional reforms)

Used as a mean for          No        Yes       Yes        Yes
regulatory compliance
(incentives and
    Influence of Certification on Participatory Forest
                   Policy Processes
Induction of a new culture of multi-stakeholder dialogs at
  local, national and even regional levels leading to:

   Increase the awareness of Sustainable Forest Management
    (SFM) issues

   More ample and democratic participation of actors
    traditionally marginalized form forest policy debates (e.g.
    local community organizations and NGO´s)

   Changes in traditional coalitions among stake-holder

   Influence on decentralization processes

   Agreements on local, national or regional definitions,
    standards, criteria and indicators to achieve SFM.
          Influence of Certification on Regulatory

   Little direct influence on improving legislation for SFM

   Seen as a complementary tool for law enforcement to stimulate
    compliance and reduce illegality

   Enforcement power is limited due the voluntary nature of

   Enforcement effects are most successful when good incentives
    are designed (e.g. Bolivia)

   Used as a formal legal requirement would tend to have the
    same limitations of other legal instruments (e.g. inflexibility to
    change and induction of corruption).
                      Main Conclusions

   The response of governments to certification has ranged form
    neglecting it (due to its perception as an external imposition),
    to an active support and involvement in the adoption and
    development of international, regional or national certification

   The most important contribution of certification as a policy
    instrument has been on the induction of multi-stakeholder
    dialogues to advance in developing local principles, standards
    and criteria to achieve SFM.

   Certification has had little influence in inducing direct forest
    policy changes and reforms of regulations and institutional

   The role of certification as a “soft” policy instrument to
    achieve SFM has been most effective in countries where
    minimal pre-conditions of good forest governance have been
    developed. In countries where these conditions do not exist
    certification has a limited effect on SMF.
           Possible Future Role of Governments
   Promote and facilitate the establishment of certification
    schemes, mainly where NGO´s and private sector actors have
    limited capacities.

   Ensure an appropriate institutional and political framework for
    certification (integration of certification as tool for SFM).

   Ensure the “fit” of certification with local policies, livelihoods and
    land-use realities as to solve real forest problems (e.g.
    development of national standards)

   Address and prevent problems of equity (e.g. trade
    discrimination of small and marginalized producers and balanced
    stakeholder representation).

   Set rules for better market conditions (e.g. prevent proliferation
    of parallel certification systems and ensure proper and fare
    international trade rules).

   Design new incentives for certification (e.g. tax incentives,
    exemption of audit requirements, tariff reduction and
    government procurement)