Just Released!

Confronting Sustainability:
Forest Certification in Developing and Transitioning Countries

Editors: Benjamin Cashore, Fred Gale, Errol Meidinger, Deanna Newsom
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Publication Series

This 16-country, 622-page comparative historical analysis on the emergence of forest certification within developing countries reveals that existing commitments from North American and European markets has not yet been strong enough to influence significantly forest management choices in some of the world's most environmentally sensitive forests. The editors argue that the success of forest certification is conditional upon a heightened level of concern and awareness on the part of the world's wealthiest consumers of forest products whose consumption habits currently feed tropical forest destruction.

The study represented a significant collaborative endeavour in which a common template was used to assess the historical development of forest certification in 16 countries within four regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. In order to present a comprehensive and culturally accurate analysis, the editors employed nationally based researchers from the countries themselves. This diverse group of researchers included Ugandan forestry practitioners, who examined forest certification's potential to impact carbon sequestration and ultimately global warming, and a scholar in Russia who highlighted the ways that forestry operations in the eastern and western parts of her country responded to the differences in market signals sent by Chinese and European buyers. Preliminary results were presented by each case-study author at a symposium held at Yale in 2004 and then revised for the final volume.

The book can be purchased (hardcopy) at The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Publication Series website or downloaded for free here.

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Russia Case Study Researcher,
Maria Tysiachniouk

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Symposium website

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Sprout Award Winner!

Governing Through Markets: Regulating Forestry through Non-State Environmental Governance

Authors: Benjamin Cashore, Graeme Auld and Deanna Newsom

(For more information please see www.governingthroughmarkets.com)

Students of public policy were blindsided in the 1990s by the widespread use of private authority as a means to address global environmental deterioration and social concerns. This book explores the emergence of a startling new institutional design within these broad trends: non-state market driven "certification" governance systems who gain their policy making authority not from the state, but from the market’s supply chain. From forestry to fisheries to coffee to food production to mining, and even tourism, non-governmental organizations have developed governance structures and standards designed to permit environmental and social "certification" of goods and services. Can these new initiatives address key policy problems in ways that traditional public policy processes have been unable?

This book addresses this questions through the case of forest certification, which emerged in the 1990s following strong criticism of international and domestic public policy efforts to reverse ecological deterioration of the world's forests. The book compares the politics behind forest certification in British Columbia, Canada, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany, as the environmental group backed Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program competed with industry and landowner initiated programs for rule-making authority. Investigating this competition, the book argues, is important for understanding whether non-state market driven governance systems will result in increased standards vis-à-vis existing public policy approaches. Two key findings emerge from this book. The first is that the place of a region or country in the global economy, the structure of the domestic sector, and the nature of traditional public policy approaches, strongly affect whether environmental groups are successful in their efforts to convince industrial companies and private forest owners to support the FSC. Second, certification programs initiated by forest company and forest owner associations as an alternative to the FSC have changed (upward) their programs in response to this competition, while the FSC has changed their program to be more palatable to business. Determining whether these new systems can address matters of concern to civil society in ways that global governance and domestic governments are unable means carefully analyzing the dynamic nature of this competition, and the ultimate form and function of these new systems.

Read Book Review from Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (2005)


Authors of Governing Through Markets Graeme Auld, Deanna Newsom, and Professor Benjamin Cashore receive Sprout Award for Best book on International Environmental Policy and Politics at the 2005 International Studies Association Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Forest Policy for Private Forestry (with Teeter and Zhang)

CAB International, Oxon, UK

Increasing concerns at the global, national and regional levels about the role of private forestry in enhancing forest sustainability are converging to provide new opportunities for refocusing forest policy debates asserts Forest Policy for Private Forestry: Global and Regional Challenges. In both developed and developing countries, forests are no longer seen solely as economic development engines, but also as important protectors of ecosystems, watersheds, endangered and threatened species, and homes for endangered cultures and rural communities.

Recently published by CABI Publishing, Forest Policy for Private Forestry asserts that much more attention needs to be placed on developing policies governing private forestry and the impacts they might have on economic, social and environmental goals. The book addresses key issues shaping the future of private forestry in four parts: the emergence of a new paradigm for public involvement in private forestry, the challenges of sustainability, forest certification programs, and experiences of countries from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

"This book represents a comprehensive effort to assess the key issues facing private forestry in the 21st century" said co-editor Benjamin Cashore, assistant professor of sustainable forestry management and chair of the forest certification program at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "In recent years those interested in influencing practices and policy of private forestry have expanded considerably in the United States and across the globe, and the book highlights what we know, or need to know, about this new-found attention. The book is important because it focuses on the environmental, economic and social aspects of forest sustainability, and the innovative approaches emerging to address these issues."

The chapters were selected from peer-reviewed papers presented at a conference titled "Global Initiatives and Public Policies: First International Conference on Private Forestry in the 21st Century" in Atlanta in March 2001. In addition to Cashore, the editors of the 307-page book are Larry Teeter, Director of Auburn University’s Forest Policy Center, and Daowei Zhang, also at Auburn University. To order a copy, call 212-481-7018 or visit the Cabi website's page on the book here.


In Search of Sustainability: British Columbia Forest Policy in the 1990s
(with George Hoberg, Michael Howlett, Jeremy Rayner and Jeremy Wilson).

University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver

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About the Book

In recent years, the forests of British Columbia have become a battleground for sustainable resource development. The conflicts are ever present, usually pitting environmentalists against the forest industry and forestry workers and communities. In an effort to broker peace in the woods, British Columbia’s NDP government launched a number of promising new forest policy initiatives in the 1990s.

In Search of Sustainability brings together a group of political scientists to examine this extraordinary burst of policy activism. Focusing on how much change has occurred and why, the authors examine seven components of BC forest policy: land use, forest practices, tenure, Aboriginal issues, timber supply, pricing, and jobs. Results of initiatives in these policy areas have been mixed. While environmental values have acquired a more central place in BC forest policy, they have not displaced timber production as the dominant force in policy making. Moreover, the authors conclude that despite the astonishing level of activism, the government’s search for sustainability -- whether measured by environmental, social, economic, or political indicators -- has ultimately failed.

In Search of Sustainability is a lucid, provocative, and often sobering examination of a crucial period in the forest industry in a province where forestry remains a central plank of the provincial economy and where environmental pressures, both domestic and foreign, continue to escalate. Essential reading for scholars, teachers, and students of forestry and environmental policy, it will also appeal to anyone interested in the future of forestry both in British Columbia and beyond.