Browsing Impact Resources by Type "Working Paper"
Results Per Page
- Approaches to Measuring the Conservation Impact of Forest Management Certification Romero, C.; Tuukka, C.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Forest Stewardship Council (PROFOR, 2013) Type Working PaperSustainable forest management (SFM) certification emerged in the 1980s and 1990s as a mechanism to promote responsible forest use and as an alternative to boycotts of forest products amid growing concerns about forest degradation and destruction. Since then, forest certification has evolved into a multifaceted market-based mechanism to promote compliance with sets of ecological, social, and economic criteria to enhance sustainability. Commodity certification has evolved from its origins as a means of verifying organic and environmentally sustainable production; issues like social equity, transparency, participation, and legal compliance have become increasingly relevant. One commonality in all certification schemes is that they are voluntary, market-driven ("willing buyer – willing seller") schemes aimed at transformational change toward more sustainable production and consumption patterns within existing market structures. Impacts of certification can be assessed through different lenses serving diverse purposes: producers are interested in ensuring their market access and price premia, long-term sustainability of production, and stable operating environments. Consumers, by contrast, are interested in social and environmental outcomes. Consumers also have much less information on individual operations than the producer, and therefore benefit from independent third-party verification such as certification. Additionally, the financing sector and investors (for example, pension funds) as well as investment banks and managers often use certification as an environmental, social, and corporate governance tool. Certification—or lack of it—guides financing and investment flows but to what extent is not fully known. This document presents the state of the current knowledge on how to assess impacts of forest management certification. It also discusses the design, implementation, and use of forest management certification. It focuses on methodologies to provide evidence-based information on the environmental impacts of certification. The concluding chapter briefly discusses the economic and social impacts. The objective is to identify areas where further methodological work is needed to improve understanding on the impacts of certification. Many benefits of certification, like improved information on management practices by outside stakeholders (for example, consumers, governments) are undisputed. At the same time, there is less knowledge on whether or not practices at field level have changed and how much. Although improved information as such is a valuable outcome, more quantitative information on environmental impacts would be welcome.
- Are There Economic Benefits from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification? An Analysis of Pennsylvania State Forest Timber Sales. Bensel, T.; Bahn, V.; Newsom, D.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Rainforest Alliance (Rainforest Alliance, 2008) Type Working PaperDespite steady increases in both the supply and demand for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified products over the past decade, many observers assert that FSC-certified forestry operations should not expect to receive higher prices for their products. We analyzed six years of data from timber sales on Pennsylvania state forest land – certified by the FSC since 1998 – to determine whether FSC chain-of-custody certified buyers are paying more for timber from these sales than non-certified buyers.We found that:• Between 2001 and 2006 FSC-certified buyers of Pennsylvania state forest timber sales paid approximately $7.7 million more for this timber than what would have been earned had all buyers been non-certified. Higher bid prices offered by FSC-certified buyers translated into roughly a 10 percent increase in revenue for the Pennsylvania stat forest over what would have been earned in the absence of certification. • The proportion of timber sold to FSC-certified buyers and the dollar value of those sales has increased dramatically since the state forests were first certified in 1998. By 2006, FSC-certified buyers accounted for nearly two-thirds of the dollar value of all state forest timber sales, up from less than 15 percent in 1998. The percentage of timber volume going to FSC-certified buyers increased from less than 10 percent in 1998 to over 40 percent in 2006, while the total acreage producing wood sold to FSC-certified buyers increased from 7 percent to nearly 30 percent over that time period.• Most of the additional revenue earned by the Pennsylvania state forests through sales to FSC-certified buyers is driven by the sale of black cherry. On average, FSC-certified buyers paid $198 more per thousand board feet (mbf) for black cherry from state forest timber sales than did non-certified buyers. The price differential for sugar maple was $138 per mbf, $49 per mbf for red oak, $35 per mbf for red maple, and $17 per mbf for white ash. There was no price differential for white oak. These results indicate that, in addition to any environmental or social benefits that FSC certification has brought to the management of Pennsylvania's state forests, certification has led to economic benefits in the form of higher prices being paid for state forest timber sales. While our research does not reveal the motivations of the FSC-certified buyers, one can only presume that they are willing to pay more because they are receiving financial benefits from their sales of FSC-certified products further up the supply chain. In the future we would like to test this hypothesis through a more detailed examination of the motives driving FSC-certified companies to pay more for timber. Future research will also examine timber sales from other state and public forests to determine whether the pattern observed in Pennsylvania holds elsewhere.
- Assessing the progress made: an evaluation of forest management certification in the tropics Peña-Claros, M.; Blommerde, S.; Bongers, F.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Forest Stewardship Council (Wageningen University and Research Center, 2009) Type Working PaperForest management certification is a market based conservation initiative that aims to promote the environmental appropriate, socially beneficial, and economical viable management of forests. Certification schemes are based on a set of Principles and Criteria dealing with legal, social, economical, and ecological aspects related to forest management and its chain of custody. This set of Principles and Criteria are used to evaluate the performance of forest management units (FMU) and to determine if the FMU should be certified or not.In this study we have analyzed the evaluation reports of 123 FMU managing natural tropical forests that are certified under the scheme of the Forest Stewardship Council. We have also followed through time the list of actions given by evaluators to a subset of FMU. These approaches allowed us to assess the impact of certification on forest management, to determine if issues raised in the list of actions are solved by the FMU through time, and to evaluate factors that influence the impact of forest management certification at the country and the tropical region level. Most certified forest area is in the Neotropics. The claim that most certified area is managed by large individual-owned FMU, and that certification is not really accessible to smallholders and local communities, is true based on certified area, but not true based on the number of certificates. We show that there is a learning process since forest certification was introduced, with less problems being found through time. Forest management certification improves the working standards of FMU in the tropics in all different aspects, as all three pillars of sustainability are included in the list of the most common problems found. Additionally it is likely that certification will have a large impact on the long-term sustainability of forest management mainly because FMU are requested to improve their monitoring system and to incorporate the results of the monitoring system into their management practices. Finally, public summaries include a wealth of information that can be better used for adjusting the certification schemes, for monitoring progress, and for extracting lessons learned that can then be applied elsewhere.
- Can't see the people for the trees' Assessment of the free, prior and informed consent agreement between Sumalindo and the community of Long Bagun, district of Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan province (Indonesia) Sofyar, Y.; Nyompe, P.; Kairupan, F.; Wibowo, S.; Suryadin, D.; Tuah, C.; Unreported; Forest Stewardship Council (Forest Peoples Programme, 2007) Type Working PaperPokja Hutan Kaltim (the 'East Kalimantan Working Group on Forests') has been observing the development of the timber legality standard and its verification system, as well as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of the PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya logging concession since June 2003. This is the report of the case study into the local indigenous people's experiences with Sumalindo.
- Certification in complex socio-political settings: looking forward to the next decade Richards, M.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Forest Stewardship Council (Forest Trends, 2004) Type Working PaperTo date the application and impacts of forest certification on sustainable forest management (SFM) objectives in these regions have been limited in comparison with progress in temperate and boreal forests. Certification initiatives have been largely donor driven as markets in these regions are weak. Too much has been expected too soon of certification, especially in situations where policy, market, and governance failures make SFM very difficult, particularly for natural forest management. Certification has had more success in Latin American countries like Bolivia and Brazil that have undergone key policy and regulatory reforms and that have developed the democratic space for more effective civil society participation (these can be thought of as the "pre-conditions" for effective certification). Experience shows that certification is unlikely to be effective as a carrot without "sticks" (without the governance pre-conditions to generate a supply of sustainably produced products) or if used as a regulatory stick without sufficient demand or market incentives in place (i.e., compulsory certification). Establishing a more level domestic market playing field by reducing illegal logging and the (often large) gap between current and certified forest management standards provides the basic conditions for certification. Country comparisons also show that a balanced set of national actors and donors working concurrently on certification and the policy and governance "pre- conditions" is more likely to achieve concrete progress than when isolated donors focus mainly on a certification agenda. There have been important non-market benefits in countries which have undergone a national Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standard setting process, as in Brazil, Bolivia, and Malaysia, especially the encouragement of a more participatory forest policy process. The national standard-setting process together with political reforms like decentralization has helped create the political space for raising social and environmental issues around natural forest and plantation management and forest industry, for example providing forest access to local people. There have also been important social benefits to local communities and forest workers in certified concession areas, for example, in the area of health and safety standards, since certified forest management unit (FMU) standards are generally above those demanded by national legislation and regulations. On the other hand, certification has proved difficult for the majority of community forestry enterprises (CFEs). This implies that modified certification approaches or models are needed that respond to the needs and characteristics of community forestry. This is particularly important in complex socio-political settings where forest tenure of local communities is being recognized or forest administration is devolving. Also, attempts to promote FMU level certification outside a national FSC standard-setting process, as in Malaysia and Indonesia, have been problematic. In countries with poorly defined land tenure rights and a high degree of centralization in forest authority and decision-making, upholding the full range of standards, including social standards, has not been successful. Natural tropical forest management faces particularly difficult challenges. Many markets, including those proximate to these forests, are not yet demanding certified products nor are they willing to pay a green premium for more expensive management practices. The lack of markets for lesser-known species creates an economic problem for tropical forests with high levels of species heterogeneity; these need to be harvested along with higher value commercial species, both to fit ecological management standards and to make SFM viable. The high cost of audits and documentation for complex ecologies, combined with limited markets for lesser known species, needs to be offset by compensatory payments for environmental services or other green market mechanisms. This inherent economic problem for certification of tropical natural forests inevitably means that the certification process has to be supported initially by some subsidy, whether directly or indirectly. Subsidized certification is theoretically justified by the significant environmental benefits at stake which are not at present recognized by the market. The fact that certification is a relatively new market-based instrument can also justify this subsidy, but can create problems for long-term progress towards SFM if this creates a perverse incentive against sustainably produced forest products in the marketplace.
- The context of natural forest management and FSC certification in Brazil Romero, C.; Guariguata, M.R.; Putz, F. E.; Sills, E.O.; Lima, G.; Papp, L.; Voigtlaender, M.; Vidal, E.; Mixed sources; Forest Stewardship Council (Center for International Forestry Research, 2015) Type Working PaperThis volume presents baseline information from four studies carried out in Brazil, as part of CIFOR's ongoing evaluation of the impacts of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on natural tropical forests. The findings of these studies will facilitate the design of an empirical impact evaluation, by providing background information on the biophysical, social, economic, and policy contexts of FSC certification. As such, this study aims to answer the questions of when, where, how, to what extent, why, at what cost to whom, and for how long FSC certification has contributed to the maintenance of the values of natural tropical forests. The components of this evaluation will link: 1) a theory-based impact evaluation of the intervention, developed through counterfactual analysis, and 2) a process evaluation, which assesses the extent to which the intervention was implemented as designed. Our first chapter (Introduction) lays out the rationale for this study, and provides an overview of its philosophy and implementation. Chapter 2 (Political economy considerations of the forest and timber sectors and natural forest management certification in Brazil) presents an account of the main factors that have shaped the occupation, transformation, and use of forest lands in Brazil. The colonization of forested areas of the Legal Amazon (hereafter the Amazon), and the associated changes in land cover, began in the second half of the twentieth century, with the implementation of federal policies that prompted agrarian reform by providing economic incentives for migration into the area. The region has been characterized by high rates of deforestation, driven mainly by cattle ranching and industrial agriculture, with logging as a secondary activity concentrated on the harvesting of high value timber. Deforestation is the outcome of land-use decisions by a range of social actors (e.g., federal and state governments, landowners, and smallholders). The land use decisions made by these actors may have been influenced by a number of factors, including explicit incentives to advance commodity production into the forest frontier (e.g. soy and cattle ranching), the development of infrastructure (e.g. roads, dams), and the expansion of services (e.g. education, health). As selective techniques are employed, logging contributes directly to forest degradation, but only indirectly to deforestation, and then only under conditions that favor land-cover change (e.g., increased access that facilitates agroindustrial development). In the 1990s, in response to high deforestation rates, rampant illegality, and alarming biodiversity losses, Brazil's federal government began to adopt measures to tackle these problems. Concerns about global climate change, which became prominent in the early 2000s, led the federal government to assume a more active role and demonstrate its commitment to forest conservation. A number of policies were implemented to curb deforestation in the Amazon, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are mainly associated with forest conversion. These policies were consolidated into the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm), which was launched in 2003, and restricted land use change in selected forested areas by designating Areas of Permanent Protection (APPs) and Legal Reserves. In 2006, further legal provisions were introduced to regulate the activities of the forest sector, which led to the creation of timber concessions in Public Forests. 2006 was also marked by the establishment of the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB), which represented an important institutional innovation. Many States launched their own initiatives to curb deforestation (e.g. Acre state's 2001 Forest Law) and established institutions to support these goals (e.g. the founding of IDEFLOR in the state of Pará in 2007). The Forest Code (FC) (1935) was most recently updated in 2012. The New Forest Code (NFC) presents refined criteria for the use of forest resources on both public and private property. Legal frameworks for land tenure and forest protection in Brazil continue to be both complex and dynamic. Powerful and diverse actors at various levels of government and society have made forest policy definition a playing field that is loaded with conflicts and prone to corruption and illegality. The vastness of the Amazon has historically posed a challenge to the enforcement of regulations, which has been only partially overcome by the launching of the Projeto de Monitoramento da Floresta Amazônica Brasileira por Satélite (PRODES) satellite, and the initiation of the Real-Time Detection of Deforestation (DETER) program in 2009. A range of public and private institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (e.g. Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia [IMAZON], Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola [IMAFLORA], Amigos da Terra), have generated knowledge that facilitates the identification of the fundamental constraints to responsible forest management, and opportunities to improve forest governance. Market-based instruments have become an important complement to command-and-control approaches. Examples include the emergence and implementation of instruments such as payments for ecosystem service schemes (PES) such as REDD+. Forest certification arose as a means to battle tropical forest loss and became a mechanism to facilitate market access with the prospects of more rewarding prices while fostering an image of social and environmental responsibility. The FSC scheme started in Brazil in the mid-1990s; in the early 2000s the national scheme CERFLOR, which is recognized by PEFC, was launched yet mostly focused on tree plantations. Although FSC certification is also more widespread in planted forests (61%), considerable efforts were made by institutions and initiatives to promote natural forest certification (e.g., Instituto Floresta Tropical – IFT since 1997; The Amazon Alternative –TAA since 2009; different international NGOs and internationally-supported programs). Yet the limited potential of FSC certification to address loss of natural forest values rests on the limited proportion of timber produced that is aimed at export (22% in 2009) when compared to national markets. Chapter 3 (Typology of the timber sector and dynamics along the natural forest certification continuum) analyzes characteristics of the forest sector and the dynamics of FSC certification, using data from 1994-2013. The heterogeneity of Forest Management Unit (FMU) traits that determine management decisions is analyzed for just a fraction of the FMUs in the country (N=65 out of ~ 2000), due to the wide range of coverage of timber harvesting operations (i.e. in 192 municipalities). Sampled units were located in polos madeireiros (i.e. regions where >100,000 m3 / yr. of roundwood is industrially processed) where there was some evidence of involvement in the certification process (e.g. participation in improved forest management training sessions; scope-visits to assess baseline management conditions; and audits to verify compliance with certification standards). These decisions are, in turn, located along the certification continuum, a conceptual model that identifies the certification states of FMUs. Data were collected for 22 Amazonian polos madeireiros and used to discern groups of FMUs with several shared characteristics. Characteristics were chosen based on their potential to affect the outcomes of management operations relevant to an impirical evaluation of FSC certification impacts. The analysis revealed that most FMUs in the sample are vertically integrated (97%) and Brazilian owned (83%). The resulting four "clusters" of similar FMUs differed in terms of: FMU area, company origin, and market outlets explained 67% of the variance. The clusters also differed in terms of the extent of their engagement with certification, with only limited engagement among FMUs in clusters 1 and 2 (53 FMUs), and greater involvement among FMUs in clusters 3 and 4 (12 FMUs). The second part of chapter 3 presents a more detailed account of how FMU decisions on certification have evolved over time. Based on data gathered from the FMUs, and records collected by certifying bodies (CBs) and FSC over a period of 20 years, it was possible to document the FMU's activities which indicate their interest in adopting certification (i.e., along the certification continuum). The first step along the certification continuum was defined as the participation of FMU staff in training activities related to improved forest management. Although this activity does not guarantee the FMU's intention to proceed with FSC certification, it is the first step towards responsible forest management. Although the vast majority of FMUs surveyed (99 out of 105) had engaged in improved management training, 71% of these FMUs had made no further effort to become certified. Temporal peaks in engagement along the certification continuum are apparent, perhaps due to external incentives to participate in the training programs (e.g. IFT training in 2001; training supported by TAA in 2009). Later peaks (e.g. 2012) may be attributable to government bonuses and benefits for FMUs adhering to international certification schemes. Just over half of all certified FMUs (14 out of 24) were still certified at the time of this study's completion. In recent years, documented logging production in Brazil has declined from 24.4 million m3 in 2004 to 11.6 million m3 in 2010. Possible causes of this include market competition from abundant, illegal timber and burdensome bureaucratic procedures that restrict access to logging rights. Volumes of certified timber have also declined, from 540,000 m3 in 2011 to 340,000 m3 in 2012. Experts estimated that there was potential for FSC certification in Brazil to expand by 36% by 2015. These estimates were based on the on- going expansion of forest concessions on public lands. Understanding the motivations of FMU managers for seeking certification can enhance our understanding of how certification might expand. Chapter 4 (Assessment of self-selection into natural forest management certification in the Brazilian Amazon), provides insights into the factors that might motivate a company to pursue, obtain, and retain FSC certification. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 stakeholders that represented a range of interests with respect to certification, out of a potential sample of 49 companies in 10 selected polos madeireiros that had received training in improved forest management through TAA or IFT. This information was combined with the results of reviews of documentation (e.g., IMAZON and FSC reports) and relevant scientific literature, which focused on the years 2004–2009, when 46% of all certificates were issued. A non-negligible proportion of the interviews corresponded to FMUs that had either ended operations or were no longer involved in the management or logging of natural forests (i.e. 36% of the companies that had indicated interest in certification by participating in forest management training). Each of these interviews helped to identify: the characteristics of companies/ FMUs that would never consider certification, might consider certification, and would definitely seek certification; the advantages and disadvantages of certification; and recommendations for how to promote certification. The interviews revealed that companies operating in regions with social conflicts, and those selling timber to local markets were highly unlikely to consider certification. Other companies were unable to consider certification because they lacked management and/ or annual cutting plans, which prevented them from operating legally. The ability to publicize the certified status of an FMU might facilitate its access to international markets. Despite this potential advantage, respondents pointed out that high costs of compliance with certification requirements, in addition to competition from producers of illegal timber, deters participation. This reluctance was also reported among FMUs that received initial support for certification, but were unable to cover the continued costs. According to respondents, necessary improvements to the certification system include: increased transparency, disclosure of reports, and communication with the public; as well as increased market demand and stability, including from national market outlets. The descriptive research presented in chapter 5 (Conclusions) provides a comprehensive overview of the dynamics and characteristics of managed natural forests as they relate to FSC certification in Brazil. Although the adoption of certification remains modest, despite the considerable efforts of a range of individuals and organizations, FSC certification still could have a significant, potential role in maintaining forest values. Brazil is one of the few tropical countries with a specific program (implemented in 2013) to facilitate the FSC certification of forests managed by traditional and indigenous communities, and small-scale producers (i.e., Small or Low-Intensity Managed Forests [SLIMF]; < 100 ha; <5,000 m3 /yr.). Community forest management in Brazil has generated a range of innovative modes of resource use. Yet, the added value of FSC certification for community managed operations remains to be demonstrated. This report provides the foundation to implement an empirical evaluation of FSC impacts. A theory of change is now required to guide the impact evaluation's assumptions, definitions and the testing of its hypotheses, to reveal the impacts of FSC certification of Brazil's natural forests, and the overall engagement of social actors with stakes in their management.
- Do forest-management plans and FSC certification reduce deforestation in the Congo basin? Tritsch, I.; Le Velly, G.; Mertens, B.; Meyfroidt, P.; Sannier, C.; Makak, J.S.; Houngbedji, K; Forest Stewardship Council (CEE-M, 2019) Type Working Paper
- Early Days in the Certification of Logging Concessions: Estimating FSC's Deforestation Impact in Peru and Cameroon. Panlasigui, S.; Swenson, J.; Loucks, C.J.; Pfaff, A.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Forest Stewardship Council (Duke University, 2015) Type Working PaperConservation and development agendas often are seen as in contradiction and, in the past, most forest policy was driven by only one such agenda. Yet leading conservation policies such as protected areas (PAs) increasingly are understood to vary in how development considerations are integrated, within PA types, given the starting point of conservation. Similarly, development policies such as logging concessions can integrate conservation. Sustainable forest management pushes integration from a starting point of development. One of the most visible initiatives of this type is the certification of logging concessions ? such as by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ? to reduce various impacts of logging. The cost of sustainable management may lead a firm not to certify any given concession, yet the potential benefits could lead firms to voluntarily certify at least some concessions (including as perhaps firms could benefit from strategies that raise forest loss elsewhere). Our empirical analyses of two countries, Peru and Cameroon, aid in understanding what actually has happened in certified sites for the relatively 'early days' of such certifications. We control for unobserved factors' influences over space and time, without which impact ? sometimes perverse ? is mistakenly attributed to FSC certification (FSCC). For Peru, we see no average FSCC deforestation impact in our study area (almost all concessions). One region, Madre de Dios, has an average reduction of 0.07% per year. For Cameroon, we find a small average FSCC deforestation impact of 0.02% per year in our study area (all concessions), though in four of five regions there is no statistically significant effect. We suggest that, as available data improve, more impact may be seen in some conditions.
- Evaluating impacts of FSC on tree - cover outcomes within Russia's far east region Pfaff, A.; Schaffer-Smith, Danica; Private; Forest Stewardship Council (Meridian Institute, 2018) Type Working PaperCertification of forest management in concessions has risen, with promises of better returns for producers who implement practices preferred by consumers. Evidence about the impact of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications also has risen - at least for the tropics. We provide the first rigorous test of FSC impact in boreal forests by examining reductions in both forest and Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) in Russia's Far East region in 2013-2016 (IFL is computed from forest yet given its spatial definition we see it as a distinct outcome). Forest and IFL shifts are concentrated in 10% of kvartals, i.e., smaller management units. The drop in IFL over this period is a bit smaller in FSC kvartals, though some controls for other factors make that difference insignificant. In contrast, the drop in forest is a bit larger in FSC kvartals, until 2016. Our estimates of FSC impacts could be shifted by controls for more differences between FSC and Non FSC kvartals − e.g., concerning the sites and firms. Our analyses document limited impacts for this initial FSC period, while simultaneously highlighting limits on the available data for sites, firms, dates, outcomes, and other regions. Resource available under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). Abstract obtained with permission, to access full article click here: https://docs.merid.org/SITECORE_DOCS/Evaluating%20Impacts%20of%20FSC%20on%20Tree-Cover%20Outcomes%20within%20Russia%E2%80%99s%20Far%20East%20Region.pdf
- Forest Certification and its Influence on the Forest Products Industry in China Yuan, Y.; Eastin, I.; Unreported; Forest Stewardship Council (CINTRAFOR, 2007) Type Working PaperForest certification is becoming an important issue within the forest products industry and also a new trend in forest products markets. Although forest certification was initiated to confront the severe deforestation of tropical rain forests, certified forests are unbalanced in geographical locations, with 60% of certified forests being located in North America and 36% in Europe in 2006. The end markets for certified forest products, especially certified wood products, are also concentrated in European countries (particularly the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands) and North America, because the price premium for environmentally friendly products is only available in these mature and value-added markets. In manufacturing, countries such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, United States, Brazil, Japan and China are competitive in the area of certified wood products. China is attracting more attention for its increased use of certified timber in wood products manufacturing. In accordance with its leading status in traditional labor intensive manufacturing industries, the Chinese forest products industry has an advantage in low cost labor, convenient infrastructure, and favorable export trading policies. The number of Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certified companies, mostly wood products manufacturers, soared between 2004 and 2006, reaching 200 by the end of 2006. Certification of forest farms in China, however, has been relatively slow and difficult, with only four forests (less than 1% of all the FSC certified forest area in the world) having obtained Forest Management (FM) certification by 2006, representing a total area of 439,630 ha. This study consists of two sections: a case study of a certified state-owned forest farm and its downstream wood products manufacturers located in Northeast China, and an email survey of all FM/CoC and CoC certified companies in China, including manufacturers, forest farms with wood mills, and traders. Unless mentioned specifically, FSC is the default forest certification program in China because of its widespread use within the country (to the virtual exclusion of all other certification programs). Case Study Youhao Forest Bureau is currently the largest certified forest farm in China with two associated certified furniture manufacturers, Hualong and Huali factories, mainly supplying solid wood furniture for IKEA. The certification of Youhao's forest farms and the Hualong and Huali factories helped to maintain product orders from IKEA, which has committed itself to sourcing its wood materials from certified forests through the four steps of the IKEA Forest Action Plan (FAP). Although the high cost of certification determines that profits from certified wood products are often lower than non-certified wood products, both the forest farms and manufacturers view certification as a new trend in the forest products industry, and hope the niche market for certified wood products will grow in the future, assuring a higher price premium. Governmental administration played an important role in the certification of Youhao through administrative commands and favorable policies. As a country with diverse forest resources, China's central and local governments actively initiated forest certification, took part in the process of certifying two important state-owned forest farms, organized training projects on forest certification in several more state-owned forest farms after Youhao and Baihe's certification, and drafted the "Criteria and Principles of Forest Certification for China". While these actions made certification favorable for state-owned forests, complicated forestry property rights reform and unstable tenure length represent significant obstacles to the certification of privately owned forests. Survey Results A survey of all the FSC (CoC) certified companies in China was conducted to investigate the basic issues related to forest and chain-of-custody certification and their influence on the international trade of forest products in China. Although there are only 200 certified companies, a general pattern on this new trend within the industry was obtained. Out of the population of 200 companies, 41 usable responses formed the sample of certified companies, including 2 forest farms with wood mills, 31 wood products manufacturers, and 8 trading companies. Most of the certified companies in China are located along the eastern and southern coast of China, from Guangdong Province to Jiangsu Province. Nearly half of the companies (46.3%) are domestic private companies, and 29.3% are wholly foreign-owned enterprises. More than half of the companies (53.7%) have over 500 employees, indicating a labor intensive production process. Evaluated by annual sales, more than half of the companies (51.2%) achieved annual sales of more than US$13 million (RMB?100 million) in 2006, which can be viewed as medium to large sized companies. Product mix of certified wood products The mix of certified wood products made by survey respondents can be divided into ten major categories: indoor furniture and accessories, craft products, stationeries and toys, outdoor furniture and accessories, wood material, garden and BBQ tools, flooring, doors and windows, logs, pulp and paper, and others. Most of the certified wood products are small piece, uni-material, finished products. This is natural as large, mutil-material, semi-finished products would increase the complexity of production, management and the percentage calculation according to CoC requirements. End markets for certified wood products The two biggest export markets for certified wood products were Europe and the United States, accounting for 54.6% and 29.8% of exports respectively. The giant DIY chain stores such as Home Depot and BandQ are important retail markets for certified wood products. Furniture retailers, pulp and paper companies, public procurement by governments, and other users form a niche market for these products. A recent report showed that from 1999 to 2000, annual sales of all certified wood products by retailers in Britain increased from £351 million (1.8% of total forest products annual sales) to £629 million (3.4% of total forest products sales). No similar data was found for the United States. Certified wood raw materials The US is currently the most important source of certified wood raw materials for wood products manufacturers in China, with 24.9% of certified wood originating from the US. Other countries supplying certified wood raw materials are New Zealand (with 18.5%), Brazil (12.4%), and European countries (10.8%). Domestic forest farms in China supply about 14.5% of the raw material mix for domestic manufacturers. The species of certified wood is almost evenly distributed among conifer species, tropical broadleaf species and semitropical/temperate broadleaf species. More than half (56.4%) of the companies in China indicated that they are now facing a shortage of supply for certified wood raw materials. Cost and benefit analysis The costs and benefits of using certified wood products is inevitably the critical problem confronting all certified companies. The issue of profitability can be viewed from several different perspectives: the market share of certified wood products; the market growth rate; the increased cost of certified wood; the small price premium obtained for certified wood products; and the lower profit margin for certified wood products relative to non-certified wood products. The profitability of certified wood products will influence both the short-term and long-term marketing strategies of companies considering selling certified wood products. The market for certified wood products in the world is relatively small, and the total sales of these products by all the certified companies in China were estimated to be around US$697 million. The market for certified wood products is growing, with nearly 39% of the sampled companies reporting that their sales increased about 22.7% between 2005 and 2006, while just 2.4% of companies' reported that their sales decreased. There are increased costs that contribute to the higher price of certified raw materials, including the cost of certification (both the initial evaluation and a semiannual audit fee) and the cost of production updating and management adjustment for certification. The increased cost of using certified raw materials is the most significant cost factor, with the average price of certified wood being 22.3% higher than non-certified wood. The cost of certification varies dramatically between forest farms gaining forest management certification and wood products manufacturers obtaining CoC certification. The cost of certification for forest farms was reported to be about ten times higher than the cost of certification for manufacturers. The average cost of certification for all certified companies including the two forest farms was about $9,037 per year, while the average cost of certification without the forest farms was around $5,912 per year. However, it is important to note that the annual cost CoC certification is likely to decline over time as the initial adjustments in management and manufacturing practices that are required for certification are implemented and they become part of the routine operating procedures for the companies. Certified companies obtained an average 6.3% price premium for certified wood products in European markets, a 5.1% price premium in the United States and a 1.5% price premium in Canada. About 24.4% of the companies reported that the profit margin for certified wood products was 6.7% higher than for non-certified wood products, while 39.0% of the companies reported a loss of about 5.6%. The profit margin for certified wood products is highly dependent on the price premium companies can achieve. A simple linear regression model was developed to estimate the profit margin based on the price premium. The regression model results suggest that as long as the price premium obtained for certified wood products exceeds 11% (relative to non-certified wood products), the profit margin for certified wood products will exceed that of non-certified wood products. Attitudinal evaluation on certification Certified companies expressed a positive attitude towards most of the survey statements regarding forest certification and its influence on the industry. Statements viewed positively included the belief that certification can help companies enter new markets (especially markets in Europe and North America); certification can help maintain a company's existing markets if new requirements on environmental issues are implemented; certification is helpful in enhancing the competitiveness and public image of companies; and companies were optimistic about the increased market share and profits that would be generated from selling certified wood products over the next two years. This study focused on FSC certification in China because there were only four companies that had received certification from programs other than FSC (i.e. PEFC). Therefore, FSC is currently the dominant certification program in China for the forest products industry. The survey respondents were asked an open-ended question about their reasons for choosing FSC certification, and their reasons can be summarized into three main categories: specific requirements dictated by their buyers; specific strategies companies took for entry into new markets; and FSC's highly credible reputation. Current problems Some common problems that certified companies in China face relate to the cost and supply of certified wood raw materials. Lacking domestic accredited certification bodies not only increases the cost of certification, but also hinders the improved communication and training among foresters and manufacturers about certification issues. Due to the supply shortage of certified wood, companies have to communicate with importers more efficiently to obtain reliable information about the origin and supply of certified wood from foreign countries. Although domestic forest farms are in the process of being certified, which may alleviate the dependence on imported raw materials to some extent, the complexity and ambiguity of the forestry property rights reforms being considered and implemented in China will slow the privatization and consolidation of local forests, and further impede the process of certifying private forests.
- Global Forest Governance: Emerging impacts of the Forest Stewardship Council Bass, S.; Guéneau, S.; Forest Stewardship Council (International Institute for Environment and Development, 2002) Type Working Paper
- Great Apes and FSC: Implementing 'Ape Friendly' Practices in Central Africa's Logging Concessions Morgan, D.; Sanz, C.; Greer, D.; Rayden, T.; Maisels, F.; Williamson, E.A.; Public funds (government, EU funding, public research grants); Forest Stewardship Council (International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2013) Type Working PaperThe long-term survival of Africa's great apes has become increasingly uncertain. Dramatic declines in their population numbers have resulted from a combination of factors, including hunting, habi- tat loss and infectious disease. Although African apes are species of international concern, and despite concerted efforts since the 1980s to create protected area networks, develop conserva- tion action plans and establish policy agreements, their populations continue to decrease. Future projections indicate that this trend will continue unless significant measures to reduce existing threats are taken immediately. The permanent disappearance of any ape species from the wild would be a huge loss to African biodiversity, to the important ecological function they play, and to our shared evolutionary heritage.
- Halting Deforestation and Forest Certification. What is the Macro-impact of the Forest Stewardship Council? Marx, Axel; Cuypers, D.; Public funds (government, EU funding, public research grants); Forest Stewardship Council (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, 2011-02-17) Type Working PaperDeforestation is threatening biodiversity and contributing to climate change. Halting deforestation is one of the key challenges for local and global governance. In recent years one can observe the emergence and proliferation of new governance mechanisms which aim to manage forests sustainably. One of these new mechanisms, which has received increasing attention in the literature, is certification by non-state actors. Certification implies, in this context, that forest management or timber products meet specified standards. In the context of timber and forest certification several certification initiatives have emerged of which the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the most widely distributed and most credible initiative. This type of non-state market regulation of forests is by some authors regarded as one of the key mechanisms for global forest governance. Little empirical research has been conducted on the macro-impact of certification. The paper aims to make a contribution to this effort and focuses on the FSC as a specific case study. The paper analyzes two types of impact. On the one hand, the paper assesses the degree to which certification contributes to halting deforestation as a key component of sustainable forest management. On the other hand, the paper assesses the macro-impact of certification on governance since this is relevant in the context of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) and emerging global forest carbon schemes to halt deforestation and forest degradation (i.e. REDD), and refers to key principles outlined by the Forest Stewardship Council. The paper uses a dataset which contains originally collected data on FSC-certified forest surface area from nearly 1.000 forests worldwide and combines this with data from the FAO (forest coverage data), human development index and governance indicators in order to assess the potential and limits of forest certification as a governance tool to halt deforestation and develop sound (forest) governance. The paper shows that there is little impact on halting deforestation and that only a small proportion of forests worldwide is FSC certified. However, the paper does find significant variation in forest area certified between countries (especially in developed countries) pointing to the potential of forest certification. The paper further explores this finding by linking it to socio-economic development, ownership of forests and uses of forests. The paper finds a 'stuck at the bottom' problem which is related to the development levels of countries. Secondly the paper finds no direct impact on governance, as measured by the Worldbank Governance Indicators. The implication, both in term of opportunities and limitations are further discussed.
- Impact of FSC Certication on Deforestation and the Incidence of Wildfires in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Hughell, D.; Butterfield, R.; Unreported; Rainforest Alliance (Rainforest Alliance, 2008) Type Working PaperIn 1990 the government of Guatemala created the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) with over 2 million hectares in northern Petén to guarantee the preservation of the natural and cultural patrimony for future generations. For administrative purposes the MBR is divided into three zones with varying degrees of resource management: 1) Core protected area (CPA), designated for strict protection; 2) Multiple use zone (MUZ), designated for managed and sustainable low impact agriculture and the extraction of timber and non-timber forest resources; and 3) Buffer zone (BZ), a 15 km wide zone at the southern limits of the MBR where agriculture and land ownership are permitted. This move was controversial as many environmental groups lobbied for complete protected area status for the area and expressed concerns about allowing extractive activities within the reserve. In response, the Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP) required that new forest concessions within the MUZ become Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified within three years of the initial concession grant. Rainforest Alliance (RA) has been active in the MBR for over 11 years, beginning with FSC training courses by RA's SmartWood program in 1996 and the first FSC certified community concession in the MBR in 1998. Currently, RA's Training, Extension, Enterprises and Sourcing (TREES) program is working to build links between FSC certified operations in the MBR and buyers of FSC-certified timber. By late 2007, RA had certified 478,000 hectares in the MBR, representing 60% of the multiple use zone and 23% of the total land base. To better understand the impact of FSC forest certification on forest conservation, we calculated the deforestation rate and examined the occurrence of wildfires on FSC certified concessions, and compared those with deforestation rates and wildfire occurrences on the other land use zones within the MBR.We found that:• From 2002 to 2007, the average annual deforestation rate for the entire MBR and the core protected areas was twenty times higher than the deforestation rate for the FSC certified concessions.• Since 1998 the incidence of wildfires in the MBR has been variable (7% to 20% of forest area burnt annually), while the area burnt on FSC certified concessions has been a fraction of that and steadily dropped from 6.5% in 1998 to 0.1% in 2007.
- Impacts of FSC and PEFC Forest Certification in North and South America Cubbage, F.W.; Moore, S.; McCarter, K.; Diaz, D.; Dube, F.; Unreported; Forest Stewardship Council (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria, 2009) Type Working PaperWe conducted surveys of firms that had received Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) forest management certification in the U.S. and Canada, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest management certification in the United States, and American Tree Farm System (ATFS) in the United States, and interviewed a sample of firms in Argentina and Chile that had received Forest Stewardship Council or Certificación Forestal (CERTFOR). SFI, CERTFOR, and ATFS are endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) system; FSC has a unified world governance system. All firms improved many practices in forest management, environmental protection, community relations, public affairs, economic, and environmental management systems in order to receive certification, and most received several conditions or corrective action requests as well. On average, firms changed between 14 to 16 forestry, environmental, social, and economic and system practices in order to obtain or maintain forest certification for FSC and SFI in North America, and 26 practices in South America. Private landowners certified under the ATFS system made fewer changes, with 2.76 per certified owner. Organizations in North America that received SFI forest certification made more changes in economic and system components of their forest management practices—an average of 6.8 per organization for SFI vs. 3.9 for FSC. Organizations that received FSC forest certification made slightly more changes in forest management and environmental practices—6.8 vs. 5.9 for SFI, and more changes in social and community components—2.4 vs. 1.4 for SFI. ATFS owners made the most changes in forest management, best management practices (BMPs), and planning (1.96), followed by economic and system (0.77), and social and legal (0.04). The number of changes in South America depended more on the size of the firms than on the forest certification system, with the three large firms in Chile (both FSC and CERTFOR) making more changes than the much smaller firms in Argentina. The average of 26 changes made by firms in Argentina and Chile were distributed very evenly among environmental, social, and economic components of certification standards. Most organizations stated that they would definitely or probably maintain forest certification, with 90% of SFI, 84% of ATFS, and 69% of FSC in the U.S.A, and 90% of the firms surveyed in South America. A majority of firms in all systems and countries felt certification benefits exceeded their costs, and met the initial objectives of the organization. Firms in South America seemed more enthusiastic regarding the merits of certification, but much fewer are certified.
- La crise de la filière européenne du bois tropical en Afrique centrale Karsenty, A.; Private funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc); Forest Stewardship Council (WillAgri, 2018) Type Working PaperTranslation typesText translationSource text1898 / 5000Translation resultsAt the start of 2018, the Africa branch of the Rougier Group announced that it had filed for bankruptcy. This is a shock to the tropical forestry profession and observers of the timber industry in Africa. A family business listed on the stock exchange, the Rougier company, founded in 1923 in Niort, is one of the oldest and largest timber companies in Africa. Its first okoumé operations having started in the 1950s in Gabon, it is also present in Cameroon, Congo and, since 2015, in the Central African Republic (CAR). The total area held under concession by the Rougier group amounts to more than 2.3 million hectares and it employs 3,000 people, mainly in Africa. It is expected to completely or partially withdraw from its operating activities, except in Gabon. The reasons given by the Group's management for this bankruptcy filing relate to known problems which are common to the entire export sector. In addition to the congestion of the port of Douala, where the wood products of most companies in Cameroon (but also in Congo and CAR) leave after a long transport by train or truck, there are also increasing delays in reimbursement. of VAT to exporters by Central African States. These problems also affect other forestry companies, mostly European, which have had to divest part of their assets in recent months. The Dutch-owned Wijma Cameroon Group had to sell in 2017 to a competitor (Vicwood SA, headquartered in Hong-Kong) four of its five forest concessions in Cameroon. The Italian company Cora Wood SA, a reputable plywood manufacturer based in Gabon, had to cede one of its concessions to a Chinese company to pay off its debts. There are rumors about possible upcoming divestitures of other European companies, in Gabon or in Congo. More about this source textSource text required for additional translation informationSend feedbackSide panels