Exploring fair trade timber: A review of current practice, institutional structures and possible ways forward
The great expansion in community ownership and management of forests presents a historic opportunity. Communities now own or manage one fourth of the forests in developing countries. Certification, eco-labelling and social auditing have all been set up to improve the forest sector. High hopes for forest livelihoods and poverty reduction have surrounded their use but each has had its limitations. It is now time to examine other complementary instruments. Fair trade may be one such instrument. An alliance of institutions interested in promoting fair trade timber is beginning to form. This report outlines some of the options for building on this momentum and enhancing local returns from responsible forestry.