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Sustainable forestry and certification in the Commonwealth



Sustainable forestry and certification in the Commonwealth



Forestry chronicle 72(6): 599-603



Sustainable forest management is the goal of most foresters and of the informed public and it is the main mission of the Commonwealth Forestry Association. Certification of forest products is a recent market phenomenon, driven partly by Non-Government Organizations and partly by retailers; it is largely a western initiative with parallels in agricultural and pharmaceutical products. Certification does not guarantee sustainability -it only defines what the buyer demands, like lumber dimensions. Environmental or social certification is a contractual specification and the European market seems currently to be the furthest forward with such schemes. Without such market pull, interest in certification would collapse. There are now many initiatives world wide; the Forest Stewardship Council began as an accrediter of independent certifiers, but countries are now developing their own criteria and especially seeking approaches through the International Standards Organization (ISO), an ISO 14000 or ISO 9000 approach. The relevance of certification to many smaller tropical Commonwealth countries is limited, since international trade is of little concern, and many newcomers to the international market have not yet adopted certification requirements. The challenge for the future is to find norms of country-specific good forest stewardship and certifiers are now turning their attention to other objects of trade.

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Accession: 002973731

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.5558/tfc72599-6


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