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A framework for assessing the effectiveness of forest certification

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With increasing concerns about the costs of forest management, there is a need to rigorously evaluate any management activities that add to costs. Certification has been widely adopted at considerable financial cost to those managing forests. Although there have been many studies of the impacts of certification, there is no comprehensive framework for assessing whether or not certification has been effective in achieving its goals. To do this, certification needs to be viewed as a part of an international environmental regime. Using established methodologies, this paper applies an evaluation framework and examines forest certification effectiveness in a number of categories: problem solving, goal attainment, behavioural effectiveness, process effectiveness, constitutive effectiveness, and evaluative effectiveness. It is too early to assess its effectiveness in problem solving and goal attainment. However, forest certification has been quite successful at process and constitutive effectiveness and is now widely recognized by a range of institutions. Its effectiveness in changing behaviours is less clear, and its evaluative effectiveness remains to be determined.

Étant donné les préoccupations grandissantes au sujet des coûts de l’aménagement forestier, toute activité d’aménagement qui augmente les coûts a besoin d’être rigoureusement évaluée. La certification a été largement adoptée, entraînant un coût financier considérable pour ceux qui aménagent des forêts. Bien que les impacts de la certification aient fait l’objet de plusieurs études, il n’y a aucun cadre de référence exhaustif permettant d’évaluer si la certification s’est avérée efficace pour atteindre ses objectifs. Pour cela, la certification doit être considérée comme une partie d’un régime environnemental international. En utilisant des méthodes connues, cet article applique un cadre d’évaluation et examine l’efficacité de la certification forestière dans plusieurs catégories: solution de problème, atteinte des objectifs, efficacité comportementale, efficacité des processus, efficacité constitutive et efficacité d’évaluation. Il est trop tôt pour évaluer son efficacité à résoudre des problèmes et à atteindre les objectifs. Cependant, la certification forestière a eu passablement de succès du point de vue de l’efficacité des processus et de l’efficacité constitutive et elle est maintenant largement reconnue par toute une gamme d’institutions. Son efficacité pour changer les comportements est moins évidente et son efficacité d’évaluation reste à déterminer.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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