University Of Tasmania
whole_FujikawaAyuko2005_thesis.pdf (13.78 MB)

Are forest standards and certification achieving sustainable development?

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posted on 2023-05-26, 21:22 authored by Fujikawa, Ayuko
Forest certification is perceived as a new instrument to promote sustainable forest management (SFM). It developed widely after the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 with the primary goal of achieving SFM. Expectations held for the certification systems included decreasing forest land degradation, the establishment of sound forest management policy, the promotion of public participation in management, a price premium for certified wood products and improved access to the 'green market'. The majority of certification systems aim to maintain or improve the ecological, social and economic functions of forest ecosystems. Certification is supposed to guarantee that forests are well-managed. Forest certification is categorised by function and geographical location. There are currently two types of functions 'management-system-based' and 'performance-based'. Managementsystem-based systems assess a company's management processes. On the other hand, performance-based systems evaluate a company's operations in the managed land. Currently, many certifications are management-system-based. From a geographic perspective, there is international certification and national certification. Many national certification schemes are members of international certification schemes. Certification can also apply to wood products that use wood material certified against the standard when all chain of production processes are evaluated, with respect to the environmental and social impacts. A single certification logo can be issued to the producer. Forest certification schemes can assess any type of forest against criteria and indicators (C&I) to assess if they have been implemented against standards at the national level. At least nine international initiatives and agreements for C&I forest certification systems have been developed. Six recognized forest certification systems are reviewed within. None of these certification systems have exactly the same C&I thresholds. Differences between schemes largely arise from the different expectations of the primary stakeholders of the schemes. Certification bodies are voluntary, independent, and non-government. An increasing number of certifications may bring confusion and complexity as various standards develop. The certification systems are not clear to the general public because targets and effects are not usually well defined. Different types of forests can be assessed at specific levels of the standard. However, dissimilar forests approved by the same certification can equally claim that their forest management practice is environmentally sound. Yet, different criteria, conditions, and systems for environmental sustainability are found in each standard. Nevertheless, all certification bodies seem to be developing towards socially and economically acceptable systems. Standards have been adapting to the needs of the various stakeholders. This can make the different certification systems converge. Measures for ecological sustainability in certification systems seem to be less well-developed, in general, than measures to ensure social and economic sustainability.


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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Env.Mgt.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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