15 years of Forest Certification in the European Union. Are we doing things right?
Forest certification is one of the most important issues that have entered the forest sector in the past 15 years. There are many detractors and supporters of this instrument, but merely looking at the number of hectares certified and products carrying the logo of certification, one cannot deny that certification has gained importance, year after year. The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of 15 years of forest certification in the EU forest-based sector, using the Delphi method. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the impact of certification in the EU forest- based sector is positive-neutral with respect to ecological aspects, positive-negative on the economic and positive- neutral on the social ones. However, its positive effect is limited, due to the fact that the changes needed for the certification are minor. An improvement in the information to both society and local people by the actors involved in forest certification could increase the positive impact on the sector.