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Negotiating the future under the shadow of the past: the eleventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests and the 2015 renewal of the international arrangement on forests

Humphreys, D. (2015). Negotiating the future under the shadow of the past: the eleventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests and the 2015 renewal of the international arrangement on forests. International Forestry Review, 17(4) pp. 385–399.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1505/146554815817476503
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Abstract

Prior to the eleventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) in 2015 a series of interlinked initiatives took place intended to generate new options for strengthening the international arrangement on forests. The paper analyses these initiatives and identifies the main proposals to emerge from them. It is shown that almost all these proposals were lost or weakened during the negotiation process. One reason for this, it is argued, is the consensual decision making procedures of the UNFF whereby it takes all states to say yes, and only one to say no. This empowers veto states, namely powerful and intransigent states that wish to resist change in key areas. It is also argued that international forest negotiations do not start from a blank page with ‘textual shadows’, namely precedents from inside and outside the UNFF, delimiting the possibilities available for delegates and, for some issues, leading to the perpetuation of the status quo. The result is that during the formal intergovernmental negotiations creativity is stifled with the textual outputs tending towards a politics of the lowest common denominator.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 International Forestry Review
ISSN: 1465-5489
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 45475
Depositing User: David Humphreys
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 11:02
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2016 12:26
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45475
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