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Can forest certification improve forest management? Case study of the FSC certified Estonian State Forest Management Centre

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This paper analyses environmental, social and economic impacts of FSC certification in Estonian state forests. The rapid expansion in forest certification is causing the need to evaluate actual costs and benefits of certification at the organizational and macroeconomic levels. The authors have used results of stakeholder interviews, comprehensive questionnaires among the staff of the certified State Forest Management Centre and a field inventory of managed forests. Results reveal that certification has increased the reputation of the certified organization and the international reputation of Estonian forestry in general. FSC certification has helped to improve several social and environmental aspects of forest management. On the other hand certification has not reduced the share of clear-cut free forestry or increased the preference for mixed stands, as hoped by many stakeholders.

Keywords: Estonia; FSC; certification impacts; forest certification; state forests

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Geography, University of Tartu, 46 Vanemuise St., Tartu 51014, Estonia.

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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