Is there a Commercial Case for Tropical Timber Certification?

  • Rachel Crossley
  • Carlos A. Primo Braga
  • Panayotis N. Varangis

Abstract

Environmental concerns in developed countries about the link between trade in tropical timber and deforestation have fueled demands for the use of trade measures as a way to influence production processes in exporting countries. Calls for bans of tropical timber and for consumer boycotts proliferated in developed countries in the 1980s, but were generally not successful and subject to controversy. More recently, however, timber certification (TC) has been identified as a potentially better instrument with which to promote sound forestry practices.

Keywords

Europe Bark Dition Malaysia Argentina 

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Notes

  1. 3.
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    A comparison with the results of a survey on organic food may help put the “green premium” for tropical timber issue in perspective. Based on a national survey, Van Ravensway and John Hoehn reported that the increased price that consumers in the United States are willing to pay for health and environmental attributes is between 5 and 7 per cent on average. See Van Ravensway and John Hoehn, “Consumer Willingness to Pay for Reducing Pesticides Residues in Food: Results of a Nationwide Survey”, Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, mimeo, March 1991.Google Scholar
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    This is not just a valid description of only the intermediate dynamics, as noted by A. Mattoo and H. V. Singh, “Eco-Labelling: Policy Considerations”, Kyklos, vol. 47 (1994), pp. 53–65. These authors assume that the demand for certified tropical timber is greater than the supply at the pre-labelling price. However, available estimates suggest that this is not an accurate description of the current situation. With supply of certified timber estimated at around one million cubic metres, demand is tentatively estimated to be at least two to three times as much. Thus, the situation of the existence of excess demand for certified timber described in the Annex is a more accurate representation of the tropical timber market.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See World Bank, “Strategy for Forest Sector Developing in Asia”, Asia Technical Department Series, Technical paper no. 182, 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© United Nations 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Crossley
  • Carlos A. Primo Braga
  • Panayotis N. Varangis

There are no affiliations available

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