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Certification’s Impacts on Forests, Stakeholders and Supply Chains

People like forests - they have many emotional and cultural attachments to them. They also like forest products - and need increasing quantities of them. But they often don’t like, don’t understand, and don’t trust what comes in between: forest management, which lies at the interface of public services (biodiversity, watersheds, etc) and private goods (timber, food, etc). Certification was developed to independently verify the quality of forest management, to communicate this to market players, and so to improve market benefits for the products of good management. The growing influence of the Forest Stewardship Council is one of the most striking recent developments in forestry. Certification is increasingly common in all continents. But has it actually improved forest management? Has it created sufficient market incentives? Above all, has it enabled trust to develop between stakeholders, so that they can work together better, to build the institutions required for sustainable forest management? This book is the result of two years’ study by IIED and collaborators in several countries: it provides evidence for considerable policy and institutional change as a result of certification, and the beginnings of change in forest and market practice.

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