The Potential of Sustainable Forestry Certification for Smallholder Tree Growing

  • H. A. Udo de Haes
  • D. J. Snelder
  • G. R. de Snoo
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 5)


This chapter’s aim is to investigate the potential of sustainable forestry certification for smallholder tree growing. Certification can be important for different stakeholders in the value chain of timber and timber products. By certification, consumers can choose on the basis of more sustainable behavior. For the manufacturing industry, certification can help to improve its image, and in the long run assure its resource input. For the producers of the timber resources, certification can help in achieving market access and can be the basis for long-term sales agreements. There are a number of certification systems for sustainable forestry, some of them operating on a global level, like particularly the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC). However, certification in developing countries lags behind: in 2006 these countries only comprised two percent of the certified forests. A recent FSC program was aimed at timber production by Smallholders and Low Intensity Forests (FSC-SLIMF). This may alleviate the barriers faced by producers in developing countries, for both individual and community forestry. Before starting a process of certification, the costs and benefits along the chain need to be carefully examined, including market perspectives. In general, certification is only useful to an international market, which with others sets requirements on the choice of tree species and timber quality. As a case study, special attention is paid to the potentials of certification of forestry plantations in the Philippines.


Developing countries environmental certification SLIMF sustainable forestry certification tree plantation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aguilar FX and Vlosky RP (2007) Consumer willingness to pay price premiums for environmentally certified wood products in the U.S. Forest Policy and Economics 9(8): 1100–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahas R, Hain H and Mardiste P (2006) Forest certification in Estonia. In: Cashore B, Gale F, Meidinger E and Newsom D (eds.) Confronting sustainability: forest certification in developing and transitioning countries, Number 8. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Publication Series Report, pp171–202Google Scholar
  3. Barney K (2004) Re-encountering resistance: plantation activism and smallholder production in Thailand and Sarawak, Malaysia. Asia Pacific Viewpoint 45(3): 325–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cashore B, Gale F, Meidinger E and Newsom D (eds.) (2006) Introduction: forest certification in analytical and historical perspective. Confronting sustainability: forest certification in developing and transitioning countries, Number 8. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Publication Series Report, pp7–24Google Scholar
  5. Díaz MF, Bigelow S and Armesto JJ (2007) Alteration of the hydrologic cycle due to forest clearing and its consequences for rainforest succession. Forest Ecology and Management 244(1–3): 32–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elkington J (1997) Cannibals with forks: the triple bottom line of 21st century business. Capstone Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. FAO (2001) State of the World’s Forests 2001. Part II: Key issues in the forest sector today. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. Farrell AE, Plevin RJ, Turner BT, Jones AD, O’Hare M and Kammen DM (2006) Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals. Science 311: 506–508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FSC (2003) SLIMF review committee briefing, Issue 5, Bonn, Germany, 1 JulyGoogle Scholar
  10. FSC (2004a) FSC principles and criteria for forest stewardship. FSC-STD-01–001, April 2004Google Scholar
  11. FSC (2004b) SLIMF eligibility criteria. FSC-POL-20–100-SLIMF, Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  12. FSC (2004c) SLIMF streamlined certification procedures: summary. FSC-POL-20–101, Bonn, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  13. FSC/NL (2004) Final version of the National Dutch FSC Standard for certification of good forest management. Approved 22 June 2005 (FSC-STD-NLD-2005–06-22-ENG). Driebergen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  14. FSC (2005) Editorial - plantations, the challenge ahead. News and Notes 3: 1–2, 31 MayGoogle Scholar
  15. Garrity D and Mercado A (1994) Reforestation through agro-forestry: market driven small-holder timber production on the frontier. In: Raintree JB and Francisco HA (eds.) Marketing of multipurpose tree products in Asia. WinRock International, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  16. Higman S and Nussbaum R (2002) How standards constrain certification of small forest enterprises. Report for UK DFID Forestry Research ProgrammeGoogle Scholar
  17. Hortensius D (1999) ISO 14000 and forestry management–ISO develops “bridging” document. ISO 9000 + ISO 14000. News and Notes 4: 11–20Google Scholar
  18. Humphries SS and Kainer KA (2006) Local perceptions of forest certification for community-based enterprises. Forest Ecology and Management 235: 30–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ISO (1996) ISO 14001: Environmental management systems - specification with guidance for use. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  20. ISO (1999a) ISO 14024: Environmental labels and declarations - type I environmental labelling - principles and procedures. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  21. ISO (1999b) ISO 14021: Environmental labels and declarations - self-declared environmental claims (type II environmental labelling). Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  22. ISO (2000) ISO 14025: Environmental labels and declarations - type III environmental declarations. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson E and Heinen R (2007) Petroleum diesel vs. biodiesel: the race is on. Chemistry and Industry 8: 22Google Scholar
  24. Jurgens E (2006) Learning lessons to promote certification and combat illegal logging in Indonesia: September 2003 to June 2006. Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
  25. Klooster D (2005) Environmental certification of forests: the evolution of environmental governance in a commodity network. Journal of Rural Studies 21: 403–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kollert W and Lagan P (2007) Do certified tropical logs fetch a market premium? A comparative price analysis from Sabah, Malaysia. Forest Policy and Economics 9: 862–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lal M and Singh R (2003) Sustainable forestry as a source of bio-energy for fossil fuel substitution. In: Innes JL, Beniston M and Verstraete MM (eds.) Biomass burning and its inter-relationships with the climate system. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp281–298Google Scholar
  28. Lamb D (1998) Large-scale ecological restoration of degraded tropical forest lands: the potential role of timber plantations. Restoration Ecology 6(3): 271–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manguiat MSZ, Verheyen R, Mackensen J and Scholz G (2005) Legal aspects in the implementation of CDM forestry projects. IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Papers, No 59. Available at
  30. Manhoudt AGE, Van de Ven GWJ, Udo de Haes HA and De Snoo GR (2002) Environmental labelling in the Netherlands; a framework for integrated farming. Journal of Environmental Management 65: 269–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Markopoulos MD (1998) The impacts of certification of community forest enterprises: a case study of the Lomerío community forest management project, Bolivia. Oxford Forestry Institute (OFI), OxfordGoogle Scholar
  32. Molnar A (2003) Forest certification and communities: looking forward to the next decade. Report of forest trends, Washington, DC. Available at
  33. Montagnini F and Porras C (1998) Evaluating the role of plantations as carbon sinks: an example of an integrating approach from the humid tropics. Environmental Management 22: 459–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mungkung RT, Udo de Haes HA and Clift R (2006) Potentials and limitations of life cycle assessment in setting ecolabelling criteria: a case study of Thai shrimp aquaculture product. International Journal of LCA 11(1): 55–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nasreen Z (2007) Comparative study on causes and experiences on displacement: hill people and Bengali in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Available at Cited 22 May 2007
  36. Nebel G, Quevedo L, Jacobsen JB and Helles F (2005) Development and economic significance of forest certification: the case of FSC in Bolivia. Forest Policy and Economics 7: 175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ota I (2006) Experiences of a forest owners’ cooperative in using FSC forest certification as an environmental strategy. Small-scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy 5(1): 111–126Google Scholar
  38. Owari T, Juslin H, Rummukainen A and Yoshimyra T (2006) Strategies, functions and benefits of forest certification in wood products marketing: perspectives of Finnish suppliers. Forest Policy and Economics 9: 380–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pandey RR, Sharma G, Tripathi SK and Singh AK (2007) Litterfall, litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics in a subtropical natural oak forest and managed plantation in northeastern India. Forest Ecology and Management 240(1–3): 96–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pasicolan PN (1996) Tree growing on different grounds - an analysis of local participation in contract reforestation in the Philippines. Thesis, Leiden University, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  41. Redondo-Brenes A (2007) Growth, carbon sequestration, and management of native tree plantations in humid regions of Costa Rica. New Forests 34(3): 253–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roshetko JM, Delaney M, Hairiah K and Purnomosidhi P (2002) Carbon stocks in Indonesian homegarden systems: can smallholder systems be targeted for increased carbon storage? American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 17(2): 1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roshetko JM, Mulawarman and Purnomosidhi P (2004) Gmelina arborea–a viable species for smallholder tree farming in Indonesia? New Forest 28: 207–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schroth G, D’Angelo SA and Teixeira WG (2002) Conversion of secondary forest into agroforestry and monoculture plantations in Amazonia: consequences for biomass, litter and soil carbon stocks after 7 years. Forest Ecology and Management 163(1–3): 131–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Snelder D, Spijkerman L and Sevink J (2005) Biophysical perspective on comanagement of natural resources. In: Snelder DJ and Bernardo EC (eds.) Comanagement in practice: the challenges and complexities of implementation in the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Region. Ateneo de Manila University Press, Manila, pp129–164Google Scholar
  46. Snoo GR de and Van de Ven GWJ (1999) Environmental themes in ecolabels. Landscape and Urban Planning 46: 179–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Taylor PL (2005) A fair trade approach to community forest certification? A framework for discussion. Journal of Rural Studies 21: 433–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Udo de Haes HA and Snoo GR de (1996) Environmental certification, companies and products: two vehicles for a life cycle approach? International Journal of LCA 1(3): 168–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Udo de Haes HA and Snoo GR de (1997) Environmental management in the agro-production chain. International Journal of LCA 2(1): 33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. UNECE (2001) ECE/FAO forest products annual market review 2000–2001. Timber Bulletin 53(3). United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Timber Section, Geneva. Available at
  51. UNECE/FAO (2006) UNECE/FAO forest products annual market review 2005–2006. Geneva Timber and Forest Study Paper 21. ECE/TIM/SP/21. United Nations Publications, New York/GenevaGoogle Scholar
  52. Van den Top GM (2003) The social dynamics of deforestation in the Philippines: actions, options and motivations. NIAS Press, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  53. Van Kooten GC, Nelson HW and Vertinsky I (2005) Certification of sustainable forest management practices: a global perspective on why countries certify. Forest Policy and Economics 7: 857–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. A. Udo de Haes
    • 1
  • D. J. Snelder
    • 1
  • G. R. de Snoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental SciencesLeiden UniversityRA, LeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations