Forest Certification in Developing and Transitioning Countries: Part of a Sustainable Future?

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This paper examines and analyzes trends in forest in forest management in developing and transitional economies in order to broaden the reach of critical issues. Data collected on biodiversity, species decline, and deforestation reveal widespread deterioration of forest ecosystem structure and function, including the acceleration of forest exploitation as well as uncertainty about where global trends in domestic forest sectors are headed. However, two significant trends were observed: (1) the intense competition between the Forest Stewardship Council and industry-initiated certification programs; and (2) North America and Europe have the most support for and battles about forest certification. Forest certification is best understood as part of a larger ensemble of forest management institutions, which, if aligned correctly, could significantly help to improve sustainable forest management and conserve biodiversity

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