Twenty years of forest management certification in the tropics

Major trends through time and among continents

Francisco Ehrenberg-Azcárate*, Marielos Peña-Claros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

For over 20 years, forest management certification—particularly that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)—has been promoted as a way to manage tropical natural forests responsibly. To shed light on the current and historical trends of this market-driven, forest governance intervention, we obtained information from the public summaries of evaluation reports belonging to 543 forest management units (FMUs) located in the tropics and covering 20 years of certification, from 1995 until 2016. Additionally, we analyzed 4621 corrective action requests (CARs) issued by third-party auditors during the initial certification attempts of companies and groups managing tropical natural forests to increase our understanding of the nature of problematic management issues and their evolution across different regions. By the end of 2016, most of the certified forest area was located in Africa, followed by the Americas and Asia. The tropics experienced a period of stagnation regarding certified area growth during the last decade, partly as a consequence of a pantropical wave of certificate terminations that started in 2008, having a severe impact in the Americas and a moderate one in Asia and Africa. Our results suggest that FMUs that remain certified for relatively more extended periods are more resilient against external economic pressures. One implication is that managers and policymakers should develop mechanisms to encourage long-term certification, particularly among small-holders as the amount of certified area managed by groups (i.e., communities and groups of small companies) has decreased throughout the last decade. We highlight the importance of looking into the temporal and regional dynamics to get a broader perspective of FSC certification at the tropical level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102050
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Volume111
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Fingerprint

tropics
certification
forest management
trend
management
smallholder
governance
market
time
continent
Forest management
Certification
managers
Group
stagnation
economics
markets
manager
Africa
Asia

Keywords

  • Corrective action request
  • Forest certification
  • FSC
  • Market-based conservation

Cite this

@article{493b0bd180134dd292b710a89eb3d156,
title = "Twenty years of forest management certification in the tropics: Major trends through time and among continents",
abstract = "For over 20 years, forest management certification—particularly that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)—has been promoted as a way to manage tropical natural forests responsibly. To shed light on the current and historical trends of this market-driven, forest governance intervention, we obtained information from the public summaries of evaluation reports belonging to 543 forest management units (FMUs) located in the tropics and covering 20 years of certification, from 1995 until 2016. Additionally, we analyzed 4621 corrective action requests (CARs) issued by third-party auditors during the initial certification attempts of companies and groups managing tropical natural forests to increase our understanding of the nature of problematic management issues and their evolution across different regions. By the end of 2016, most of the certified forest area was located in Africa, followed by the Americas and Asia. The tropics experienced a period of stagnation regarding certified area growth during the last decade, partly as a consequence of a pantropical wave of certificate terminations that started in 2008, having a severe impact in the Americas and a moderate one in Asia and Africa. Our results suggest that FMUs that remain certified for relatively more extended periods are more resilient against external economic pressures. One implication is that managers and policymakers should develop mechanisms to encourage long-term certification, particularly among small-holders as the amount of certified area managed by groups (i.e., communities and groups of small companies) has decreased throughout the last decade. We highlight the importance of looking into the temporal and regional dynamics to get a broader perspective of FSC certification at the tropical level.",
keywords = "Corrective action request, Forest certification, FSC, Market-based conservation",
author = "Francisco Ehrenberg-Azc{\'a}rate and Marielos Pe{\~n}a-Claros",
year = "2020",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.forpol.2019.102050",
language = "English",
volume = "111",
journal = "Forest Policy and Economics",
issn = "1389-9341",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Twenty years of forest management certification in the tropics : Major trends through time and among continents. / Ehrenberg-Azcárate, Francisco; Peña-Claros, Marielos.

In: Forest Policy and Economics, Vol. 111, 102050, 01.02.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Twenty years of forest management certification in the tropics

T2 - Major trends through time and among continents

AU - Ehrenberg-Azcárate, Francisco

AU - Peña-Claros, Marielos

PY - 2020/2/1

Y1 - 2020/2/1

N2 - For over 20 years, forest management certification—particularly that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)—has been promoted as a way to manage tropical natural forests responsibly. To shed light on the current and historical trends of this market-driven, forest governance intervention, we obtained information from the public summaries of evaluation reports belonging to 543 forest management units (FMUs) located in the tropics and covering 20 years of certification, from 1995 until 2016. Additionally, we analyzed 4621 corrective action requests (CARs) issued by third-party auditors during the initial certification attempts of companies and groups managing tropical natural forests to increase our understanding of the nature of problematic management issues and their evolution across different regions. By the end of 2016, most of the certified forest area was located in Africa, followed by the Americas and Asia. The tropics experienced a period of stagnation regarding certified area growth during the last decade, partly as a consequence of a pantropical wave of certificate terminations that started in 2008, having a severe impact in the Americas and a moderate one in Asia and Africa. Our results suggest that FMUs that remain certified for relatively more extended periods are more resilient against external economic pressures. One implication is that managers and policymakers should develop mechanisms to encourage long-term certification, particularly among small-holders as the amount of certified area managed by groups (i.e., communities and groups of small companies) has decreased throughout the last decade. We highlight the importance of looking into the temporal and regional dynamics to get a broader perspective of FSC certification at the tropical level.

AB - For over 20 years, forest management certification—particularly that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)—has been promoted as a way to manage tropical natural forests responsibly. To shed light on the current and historical trends of this market-driven, forest governance intervention, we obtained information from the public summaries of evaluation reports belonging to 543 forest management units (FMUs) located in the tropics and covering 20 years of certification, from 1995 until 2016. Additionally, we analyzed 4621 corrective action requests (CARs) issued by third-party auditors during the initial certification attempts of companies and groups managing tropical natural forests to increase our understanding of the nature of problematic management issues and their evolution across different regions. By the end of 2016, most of the certified forest area was located in Africa, followed by the Americas and Asia. The tropics experienced a period of stagnation regarding certified area growth during the last decade, partly as a consequence of a pantropical wave of certificate terminations that started in 2008, having a severe impact in the Americas and a moderate one in Asia and Africa. Our results suggest that FMUs that remain certified for relatively more extended periods are more resilient against external economic pressures. One implication is that managers and policymakers should develop mechanisms to encourage long-term certification, particularly among small-holders as the amount of certified area managed by groups (i.e., communities and groups of small companies) has decreased throughout the last decade. We highlight the importance of looking into the temporal and regional dynamics to get a broader perspective of FSC certification at the tropical level.

KW - Corrective action request

KW - Forest certification

KW - FSC

KW - Market-based conservation

U2 - 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.102050

DO - 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.102050

M3 - Article

VL - 111

JO - Forest Policy and Economics

JF - Forest Policy and Economics

SN - 1389-9341

M1 - 102050

ER -