Spotlight #62 – How and why criteria and indicators have changed forest management since the Rio Summit
Sparked in part by the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the use of criteria and indicators (C&I) for sustainable forest management (SFM) has become an ever more present aspect of forest management.
Since that ’92 summit, “the focus of academic attention has been mainly on global forest governance with a research gap regarding regional (or international) forest related processes,” said Dr. Stefanie Linser of the European Forest Institute, who is also co-ordinator of IUFRO Working Party 9.01.05 on research and development of indicators for SFM. Read more…
IUFRO All-Division 9 Meeting at the 125th Anniversary Congress
An Interview with Division 9 Coordinator Daniela Kleinschmit, University of Freiburg, Germany
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IUFRO Spotlight #44 – Evidence linking community forest rights and improved forest condition inconclusive
There is an assumption that there is a correlation, possibly even a direct cause and effect relationship, between the devolution of forest governance and improved forest condition.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was interested in testing that hypothesis to assess its impact on global climate change mitigation and adaptation.
To that end, a group of researchers at Michigan State University was tasked with reviewing, summarizing and commenting on the empirical evidence supporting that conclusion.
In their review of the literature, they found the assumption deserves, at best, a “maybe.” Read more…
Many governments are reclaiming a role that had been pretty well ceded to ENGOs and other private organizations over the past few decades – state governance of forest certification.
According to the authors of From governance to government: The strengthened role of state bureaucracies in forest and agricultural certification, this has become more noticeable following the recent rise of state-driven schemes for certifying timber legality as well as palm oil production in places such as Indonesia.
Their report sums up findings from a variety of recent studies and suggests, they say, that public administrations are beginning to reclaim certification authority through state-led mandatory schemes as part of a trend away from “transnational private governance to international state-driven governance.” Read more…
By John Parrotta (Deputy Coordinator, IUFRO Division 8) and Lawal Marafa (Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee)
Dealing with uncertainties
REDD+ (reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is an evolving mechanism for climate change mitigation under continued debate within and outside of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). While it has the potential to realize its primary climate change mitigation objective, there is considerable uncertainty regarding its actual or potential impacts on biodiversity, forests and the livelihoods of people in the tropical and sub-tropical forested landscapes where REDD+ implementation is envisaged.
International forest governance and its influence on the convergence of forest policy in Latin America
For more information on the IUFRO Task Force on International Forest Governance, visit: http://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/intl-forest-governance/
Globally, great strides have been made in the last 20 years as to what constitutes responsible forest governance. Yet, frustrations exist at the scale and pace of change. In Latin America, there continues to be a notable gap between ‘rules on paper’ and ‘rules in use’ in most countries, and governance tends to remain firmly based in ‘command-and-control’ approaches established decades ago.
In the session entitled “International Forest Governance and its influence on the convergence of forest policy in Latin America”, leading scholars in this field discussed what political science can do to improve international forest governance in the region through a mix of existing and emerging environmental policy instruments.
Reported cases of “carbon cowboys” deriving indigenous communities from intended benefits from REDD+ have created mistrust and infighting and have raised questions about the usefulness of market-based approaches to environmental problems such as climate change. Yet, the political scientists concluded that – if well designed – market-based instruments such as forest certification or payments for environmental services can help deliver effective policy outcomes. Costa Rica can be cited as a positive example on how new forms and modes of governance have successfully been incorporate into forest policy.
The session also discussed the newly emerging discourse on “rights of nature” in which nature is treated as a ‘subject’ rather than an ‘object’ in environmental legislation. While the notion of collective property rights reflected in this new approach can be seen as a more ethical approach to natural resources, it may however also be motivated by more mundane considerations, such as the intention to bargain for increased financial support from the international community.
Overall, the examples presented in the session indicated the need to incorporate new forms and modes of governance into forest and environmental policy in Latin America. If well-designed, instruments such as legality verification can help form large coalitions of actors and can trigger a “ratchet up” towards better forestry standards in the region.
Presentations in this session:
Policies for promoting sustainable forest management: Convergence of domestic policies and instrument mixes across Latin America (Kathleen McGinley, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USA)
Carbon cowboys: case studies from Peru (Wil De Jong, Kyoto University Japan)
International forest governance and the rights of nature discourse in South America (David Humphries, UK)
Adaptation of tropical forest management in climate change (Rod Keenan, University of Melbourne, Australia)
Agroforestal systems as an alternative to coca crops in the Chapare region of Bolivia (Eduardo Lopez Rosse, UMSS, Department of Natural Resources, Bolivia)
Factors driving botanical tree diversity in agroforestry systems in Central America (Jenny Ordonez)