Comparing Sustainabale Forest Management Certification Standards: A Meta-Analysis

dc.contributor.authorClark, M.R.
dc.contributor.authorKozar, J.S.
dc.titleComparing Sustainabale Forest Management Certification Standards: A Meta-Analysisen
dcterms.abstractTo solve problems caused by conventional forest management, forest certification has emerged as a driver of sustainable forest management. Several sustainable forest management certification systems exist, including the Forest Stewardship Council and those endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, such as the Canadian Standards Association – Sustainable Forestry Management Standard CAN/CSA - Z809 and Sustainable Forestry Initiative. For consumers to use certified products to meet their own sustainability goals, they must have an understanding of the effectiveness of different certification systems. To understand the relative performance of three systems, we determined: (1) the criteria used to compare the Forest Stewardship Council, Canadian Standards Association – Sustainable Forestry Management, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, (2) if consensus exists regarding their ability to achieve sustainability goals, and (3) what research gaps must be filled to improve our understanding of how forest certification systems affect sustainable forest management. We conducted a qualitative meta-analysis of 26 grey literature references (books, industry and nongovernmental organization publications) and 9 primary literature references (articles in peer-reviewed academic journals) that compared at least two of the aforementioned certification systems. The Forest Stewardship Council was the highest performer for ecological health and social sustainable forest management criteria. The Canadian Standards Association – Sustainable Forestry Management and Sustainable Forestry Initiative performed best under sustainable forest management criteria of forest productivity and economic longevity of a firm. Sixty-two percent of analyses were comparisons of the wording of certification system principles or criteria; 34% were surveys of foresters or consumers. An important caveat to these results is that only one comparison was based on empirically collected field data. We recommend that future studies collect ecological and socioeconomic data from forests so purchasers can select certified forest products based on empirical evidence.en
dcterms.accessRightsOpen access
dcterms.bibliographicCitationClark, M.R. and Kozar, J.S., 2011. Comparing sustainable forest management certifications standards: a meta-analysis. Ecology and Society, 16(1)en
dcterms.typeJournal Article
fsc.evidenceCategoryFSC impact-related
is.availability.fullTextFull text available
is.contributor.funderTypePrivate funds (NGOs, companies, VSS self-funded etc)
is.contributor.memberForest Stewardship Council
is.coverage.regionNorth America
is.evaluation.collectionCompany/certified entities /co-op data records
is.evaluation.dataSourceData by scheme / tool under evaluation
is.evaluation.notesThe conclusion that to be able to actually compare the different SFM systems, it is needed to gather empiral data on the ground is important. Little new insights, but relevant overview and potentially usefull quote.
is.evaluation.quotes"The strengths of FSC differed from those of thePEFC endorsed certifiers. FSC performed betterregarding ecological and social issues, and showedthe greatest amount of consensus among studies (assignified by the standard error in Fig. 2). Thestrengths of CSA-SFM and SFI were in maintainingforest productivity to ensure the economic longevityof a firm, not in addressing social or ecologicalissues. Consensus about the performance of thesetwo systems was less than that for FSC (Fig. 2)."
is.evaluation.quotes"To understand the actual impact of SFM, social orecological data must be collected in field studies.Certification systems have integrated new ideas andnorms into forestry management and publicengagement with forestry, but little is known abouttheir field performance (Tikina and Innes 2008).Only one study drew its conclusion from fieldcollecteddata, which looked at tree retention inSweden (Sverdrup-Thygeson et al. 2008). Wepropose that the conclusions from analyses ofwording and surveys presented here can be used togenerate hypotheses about how each certificationsystem performs."
is.evaluation.quotes"Despite their existence for more than a decade, littleis known about how well forest certification systemsachieve their SFM goals. FSC, CSA-SFM, and SFIhave been compared on the basis of the wording oftheir criteria and indicators or on user surveys. Assuch, we found a strong consensus that FSC certifiedforests achieve higher levels of sustainable forestmanagement compared to CSA-SFM or SFI.However, empirical comparisons based onecological or socioeconomic field data are lacking.Empirical data collection in forests must be used tofield test hypotheses about the merits of differentcertification systems. Only by understanding theeffectiveness at which different certificationsystems meet SFM goals can consumers select theproducts that most effectively advance sustainableforestry goals."
is.evidenceSubTypeSynthesis paper - systematic review with meta-analysis
is.evidenceTypeSynthesis paper
is.focus.productsOther forestry and logging
is.focus.sdgSDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
is.focus.sustainIssueForests and other ecosystems
is.focus.sustainLensMultiple certification
is.focus.sustainOutcomeEcosystem quality
is.focus.systemElementMandE outcomes and impacts
is.focus.systemElementMandE performance monitoring
is.identifier.schemeNameForest Stewardship Council
is.identifier.schemeNameSustainable Forestry Initiative
is.identifier.schemeNameCanadian Standards Association
is.identifier.schemeTypeVoluntary Sustainability Standards
is.item.reviewStatusPeer reviewed
is.journalNameEcology and Society