Good Forest Certification Thesis Example
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Forest certification is the process of ensuring that a forested area is up to the standards of the required law. The law is usually undertaken by an independent party that provides a certificate to show that all the conditions are met by the forested area. The purpose of the certification of an area that is considered a forest is supposed to comply with the available standards and thus, promotes the quality of the products. Consumers need to be assured of the product they get from the forests and that the quality is not compromised in any way (Nussbaum, Ruth, and Markku, 63). There are some social, political, and economic controversies that arise from the certification of forests. Some of the social aspects that raise questions of this endeavor include the issues of community relations, the need to recognize culture and traditions, and matters related to health and labour. All these things are meant to be considered in light of the standards that a forest needs to be in before certification. For instance, the independent party has to consult with the communities that have their culture and traditions embroidered in a forest before deciding if it meets the standards available and whether or not it should be certified. There are times when conflicts that are brought about by the social, political and economic factors and prevent certification (Rehbinder, 14).
On the political front is the fact that the laws of forest standards may be in conflict with those regarding tenure and property ownership. Ideally, people are legally allowed to do as they please with their property. Other issues to consider are the international laws that concern the conditions that would foster sustainability (Thang, 33). In addition, other issues may come up regarding the procedures, the people involved, and transparency. The government is bound to be involved in the process because the timber schemes in a majority of States have not reached a level of self-financing. Many are owned and financed by the government, especially in developing countries (Meidinger, et al, 23) The few people who have their plants still have to involve the State in all operations thus warranting its interference as necessary. The debate lies in the transparency and efficiency of government involvement in the activity and whether it is of any use. Economic dimensions have to do with the timber business and its meaning to the country and the livelihoods of people in relation to the expenses that are involved in Timber certification.
The challenge of sustainability has proven to cause havoc in the issue of certification. Locally, and even internationally, there are questions as to whether it can preserve the resource itself. The best scenario that has been fostered by certification is the creation of awareness in the need for the creation of a balance between the economic gains and the conservation of a forest (Romeijn, 14). Many are concerned with the view that it only deals with ensuring that the product is of quality and does not identify the issues that threaten the sustainability of forests. The result of the certification process is to protect the products of forest degradation, which in this case, is the timber. However, many argue that more efforts should be put to ensure that the environment remains sustainable. Forest management and certification should be geared towards ensuring that the environment remains protected. The economic factors involved make it hard for certification to make sustainability its primary goal even though it is concerned with forest management.
Meidinger, Errol and Elliott, Christopher and Oesten, Gerhard. Social and Political Dimensions of Forest Certification (2003). Ed. by Errol Meidinger, Chris Elliott, Gerhard Oesten; Remagen-Oberwinter, 2003; SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2539803
Nussbaum, Ruth, and Markku Simula. The Forest Certification Handbook. London: Earthscan, 2004. Internet resource.
Rehbinder, Eckard. "FOREST CERTIFICATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW." Research Center for Environmental Law (2005). Print.
Romeijn, Paul. "CERTIFICATION; THE CHAIN OF COMM AND FROM FOREST T O FINAL PRODUCT." Forest Products (2012). Print.
Thang, Hooi. "Current Perspectives of Sustainable Forest Management and Timber Certification." Environment (2013). Print.
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