Does forest certification really make a difference? A state of the art of effectiveness studies and a future research agenda

I.J. Visseren-Hamakers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Abstract Does forest certification really make a difference? A state of the art of effectiveness studies and a future research agenda Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change - Social dimensions of environmental change and governance, Berlin, 8-9 October 2010 Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers Certification is becoming an institutionalized governance approach to sustainable development. Certification schemes have been developed for a myriad of products, aiming to improve their social or environmental performance. Certification enables, and is perhaps even one of the drivers of, market-based governance. Forest certification can be regarded as a pioneer, since forest certification started as early as the beginning of the 1990s. One of the major standards, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) addresses both social and environmental concerns, while others, like the Programme for the Endorsement of Certification (PEFC) and its associated national schemes, have less stringent demands, especially on social aspects. Despite the relatively long experience with forest certification, no systematic global assessments of these certification schemes have been performed until today. There is, however, a scattered body of knowledge available, including evaluations of certifications in specific forest management areas, comparisons of the standards on paper, and studies on certain aspects of certification schemes. This state of the art paper aims to present and review the current state of knowledge on the effectiveness of forest certification. Existing evaluations are analyzed in terms of the knowledge provided on the effectiveness of the schemes, the research approaches and methodologies applied, and the scope of the evaluation in terms of, among others, geography and inclusion of environmental and social issues. Based on this current state of knowledge, the paper develops a research agenda which aims to overcome the current knowledge gaps. The agenda proposes an assessment of the effectiveness, in terms of environmental, social and economic issues, of the major forest certification schemes, which includes contributions from both the natural and social sciences. The research agenda also proposes contributions to the governance debates on the risks, opportunities, and consequences of the current institutionalization of the governance mechanism of certification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Programme - 2010 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Berlin, Germany, 8-9 October 2010
Place of PublicationBerlin
Pages231-232
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event2010 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Berlin, Germany -
Duration: 8 Oct 20109 Oct 2010

Conference

Conference2010 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Berlin, Germany
Period8/10/109/10/10

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    Visseren-Hamakers, I. J. (2010). Does forest certification really make a difference? A state of the art of effectiveness studies and a future research agenda. In Conference Programme - 2010 Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Berlin, Germany, 8-9 October 2010 (pp. 231-232).