Global governance approaches to addressing illegal logging: Uptake and lessons learned

Cashore, Benjamin; Leipold, Sina; Cerutti, Paolo Omar; Bueno, Gabriela; Carodenuto, Sophia; Chen, Xiaoqian; de Jong, Wil; Denvir, Audrey; Hansen, Christian; Humphreys, David; McGinley, Kathleen; Nathan, Iben; Overdevest, Christine; Rodrigues, Rafael Jacques; Sotirov, Metodi; Stone, Michael W; Tegene, Yitagesu Tekle; Visseren-Hamakers, Ingrid; Winkel, Georg; Yemelin, Valentin and Zeitlin, Jonathan (2016). Global governance approaches to addressing illegal logging: Uptake and lessons learned. In: Kleinschmit, Daniela; Mansourian, Stephanie; Wildburger, Christoph and Purret, Andre eds. Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade - Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses: A Global Scientific Rapid Response Assessment Report. IUFRO World Series (35). Vienna: International Union of Forest Research Organisations, pp. 119–131.



One of the most challenging tasks facing development agencies, trade ministries, environmental groups, social activists and forest-focused business interests seeking to ameliorate illegal logging and related timber trade is to identify and nurture promising global governance interventions capable of helping improve compliance to governmental policies and laws at national, subnational and local levels. This question is especially acute for developing countries constrained by capacity challenges and “weak states” (Risse, 2011). This chapter seeks to shed light on this task by asking four related questions: How do we understand the emergence of illegal logging as a matter of global interest? What are the types of global interventions designed to improve domestic legal compliance? How have individual states responded to these global efforts? What are the prospects for future impacts and evolution?

We proceed in the following steps. Following this introduction, step two reviews how the problem of “illegal logging” emerged on the international agenda. Step three reviews leading policy interventions that resulted from this policy framing. Step four reviews developments in selected countries/regions around the world according to their place on the global forest products supply chain: consumers (United States, Europe and Australia); middle of supply chain manufacturers (China and South Korea) and producers (Russia; Indonesia; Brazil and Peru; Ghana, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo). We conclude by reflecting on key trends that emerge from this review relevant for understanding the conditions through which legality might make a difference in addressing critical challenges.

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