2 March 2006
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) - Hayama, Japan - has launched Policy Brief #3, entitled "Combatting Forest Degradation - Certification as a driving force for amelioration."
The natural forests of many Asia-Pacific countries are rapidly degrading or disappearing, threatened by a complex array of forces and appropriate measures for sustainable forest management are urgently required. Japan, as a major importer of tropical timber, has considered revising the basic principle for the promotion of eco-friendly products in public procurement under the Green Purchasing Law that will come into effect in April 2006. The amendment will require government agencies to procure timber and wood products from legal sources and encourage them to procure such material from well-managed forests.
Forest certification provides a credible means of verifying the legality of timber/wood products and ensures that forests are managed according to the recognised principles of sustainable forest management. However, present supplies of certified timber, especially from tropical countries, are expected to fall short of the future demand envisioned by Japan and other importer countries. Small forest enterprises are a feature of forestry in many tropical countries and could play an important role in supplying certified timber to Japan and other importer countries.
This policy brief introduces four measures to improve the accessibility
of forest certification to small forest enterprises referred
to in IGES case studies done in Papua New Guinea: 1) Reducing
the auditing costs of certification; 2) Engaging governments,
especially their forestry departments in promoting certification;
3) Introducing stepwise approaches for small forest enterprises;
and 4) Developing national services to support certification.
A series of policy briefs was launched in June 2005 to send out the research outcomes of our researchers as clear and timely policy proposals for governmental agencies, international organisations, businesses, NGOs and others all over the world. They raise the latest issues concerning sustainable development and provide appropriate policy options.
#1: Networking International Recycling Zones in Asia
#2: Information Access as a Vehicle for Sustainable Development in Asia