Private Forest Governance, Public Policy Impacts: The Forest Stewardship Council in Russia and Brazil

dc.contributor.authorSundstrom, L.
dc.contributor.authorHenry, L.A.
dc.titlePrivate Forest Governance, Public Policy Impacts: The Forest Stewardship Council in Russia and Brazilen
dcterms.accessRightsOpen access
dcterms.bibliographicCitationSundstrom, L.M. and Henry, L.A., 2017. Private forest governance, public policy impacts: The forest stewardship council in Russia and Brazil. Forests, 8(11), p.445.en
dcterms.typeJournal Article
fsc.evidenceCategoryFSC impact-related
fsc.focus.forestTypeNatural Forest
fsc.focus.sustainDimensionPolitical, legal, systemic
fsc.topic.politicalNational Forest Policy
fsc.topic.politicalNon-State Market Regulation
is.availability.fullTextFull text available
is.contributor.funderTypePublic funds (government, EU funding, public research grants)
is.contributor.memberForest Stewardship Council
is.coverage.countryRussian Federation
is.evaluation.collectionInterviews/surveys with certified entities and their representatives and workers/producers
is.evaluation.dataSourceData by scheme / tool under evaluation
is.evaluation.notesIn this study, the authors wonder if FSC can influence states' forest governance. They perform a qualitative analysis of Russia and Brazil to understand under which conditions a private marked-based NGO can shape state regulation.
is.evaluation.notesOverall, the authors find that FSC “can influence a state's rhetoric, domestic policy, and patterns of engagement with industry actors.” Even though Brazil and Russia are in many aspects very different countries, they share some characteristics that have facilitated their impact of state's behavior, namely: “poor and decentralized domestic governance, overlapping public and private rules, and foreign market incentives.”
is.evaluation.notesThe authors conclude that “the FSC may exert influence on states, in complex ways that go beyond the intentions of the private governance scheme's creators.”
is.evaluation.notesMore specifically, in Russia, the indirect influence of FSC on state governance can be seen “in new or revised policies, including the language of sustainable forestry and competing domestic certification schemes, and new enforcement practices to accommodate certification.” For instance, while state policies were relatively unstable, the Russian Forestry Agency encourages the adoption of certification since 1997, under some pressure from environmental agencies, including the WWF. Also, new terms have increasingly appeared in the Forest Code as FSC was being known the country, such as “forest certification”, “biodiversity” “sustainability” and “indigenous peoples”. Even among the Forest Code primary objectives can one reads concerns about the conservation of forests, biodiversity and habitats for species and the participation of citizens in decision making.A concurrent national certification scheme has been created, indicating the state's recognition that such a tool is necessary to access a global market.
is.evaluation.notesThe influence of FSC appear to be greater impact in Russia because it “disrupted business as usual in the forest sector”. Indeed, Russia “is less democratic and has a weaker environmental movement, but has a greater regulatory gap between global and domestic standards” than in Brazil. Those elements confirms the author's explanation that the impacts are particularly disruptive and consequential as differences between domestic and FSC governance are large.
is.evaluation.notesThe comparison between Russia and Brazil highlight the influence of the timing of the introduction of FSC on state's governance. In Brazil, concerns about the sustainable management of forests have been raised and conducted to the adoption of policies towards more responsible forestry before the introduction of FSC. “Thus, Brazil's engagement with FSC has been one element in a longer process of transnational environmental influence, while FSC intervention in Russia was more novel and disruptive.”
is.evaluation.notesInterestingly, the authors also study the counterfactual by analyzing if FSC was necessary to trigger changes in state policy. Firstly, in both countries, FSC is a rare example of facilitating institution that brings civil society and scientists/environmentalists together and allows an active learning of sustainable forestry. Secondly, FSC itself plays a significant role on the market by creating demand for certified products. Thirdly, FSC was a crucial NGO in Russia where the civil society is weak and repression of NGOs high. FSC was less crucial in Brazil where other environmental movements have been active. But even in Brazil, FSC appears as a particularly comprehensive and reliable scheme.
is.evidenceSubTypeSynthesis paper - literature review
is.evidenceTypeSynthesis paper
is.focus.productsForestry products
is.focus.sdgSDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
is.focus.sustainIssueRights of indigenous peoples and local communities
is.focus.sustainLensTransnational governance
is.focus.sustainOutcomeGovernance mechanisms
is.focus.systemElementMandE outcomes and impacts
is.focus.systemElementMandE performance monitoring
is.identifier.schemeNameForest Stewardship Council
is.identifier.schemeTypeVoluntary Sustainability Standards
is.item.reviewStatusPeer reviewed