The Effectiveness of Non-State Governance Schemes: A Comparative Study of Forest Certification in Norway and Sweden


DOI: 10.1007/s10784-004-1010-9

Cite this article as:
Gulbrandsen, L.H. Int Environ Agreements (2005) 5: 125. doi:10.1007/s10784-004-1010-9


During the last decade, we have seen the emergence, under the auspices of non-state authorities, of market-driven governance schemes for certification of forest holdings and eco-labelling of wood products. Do these schemes affect actual management practices and environmental protection in forestry? This article examines the effectiveness of forest certification in Norway and Sweden – two ecologically and politically similar countries, but with different certification schemes. It is found that certification processes in both countries have resulted in high participation in certification schemes, high market penetration by certified forest organisations, and reduced conflict prevalence over forestry practices. Although forest certification seems to have modified on-the-ground practices in ways that lead to less environmental deterioration of forests, we still know too little about forest certification’s environmental impact and efficacy as a problem-solving instrument. More research is therefore urged in these areas.


eco-labelling effectiveness environmental governance forest certification forestry Norway private authority Sweden voluntary standards 

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Fridtjof Nansen InstituteLysakerNorway

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