Forest certification has been widely accepted as a tool that would encourage industrial and non-industrial management of resources in an environmentally acceptable, socially beneficial and economically viable manner. Much has been written on certification yet five issues have been missing, which this book addresses: an analysis of the scientific basis for the certification standards; a formal and mechanistic incorporation of social and natural system sustainability as part of the standards; the rationale for the different sets of standards that are currently being used to certify governmental, industrial and non-industrial organizations; the success of the different sets of standards in assessing the environmental acceptability, social benefits and economic viability of the managed system; and, the difficulty of certifying small landowners with current protocols.
Forest Certification examines the historical roots of forest certification, the factors that guide the development of certification protocols, the players involved in certification, the factors determining the customers to be certified, and the benefits of certification. The book also covers the terminology and other issues intrinsic to certification that direct the structure of standards, the similarities between indicators of different human disturbances within the ecosystem/landscape and certification standards, and, finally, a case study evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing certification protocols.
Forest Certification is unique in its analysis of the scientific basis for the structure of the forest certification protocols. It documents the roles of human values in the development of assessment protocols but demonstrates how elements of existing protocols should be used to produce non-value based standards.