Certification of tropical timber and deforestation: Micro monitoring without macro conditions?

  • Daan P. van Soest
  • Catrinus J. Jepma


Due to external effects associated with rainforest conservation, it is likely that the preferred size of rainforests is larger from the point of view of the international community than from the point of view of those who directly exploit the forests. As trade in tropical timber is the main direct link between forest exploitation and the international community, trade policy instruments have been proposed to promote sustainable forest exploitation. One such instrument is certification of internationally traded tropical timber: sustainably produced timber is labelled so that it becomes distinguishable from unsustainably produced timber. One of the aspects of the current debate is the level at which monitoring of compliance to the certification criteria should take place,i.e., at the macro (country) level or at the micro (concession) level. There seems to be a consensus that in order to be acceptable for industrialised countries' consumers, monitoring and certification should in any case take place at a micro level. However, we argue that in terms of maintaining tropical forests a firm level certification regime may be counter-effective in the short and medium run if no macro conditions are included in the certification process as well.

Key words

Sustainable forestry certification sustainable production techniques decision processes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daan P. van Soest
    • 1
  • Catrinus J. Jepma
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Groningen Open UniversityThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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