Certification of non-timber forest products: Limitations and implications of a market-based conservation tool

9 de dezembro de 2019

dez 9, 2019

Alan Pierce, Patricia Shanley, Sarah Laird

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) play an important role in rural livelihoods worldwide and recent efforts to certify NTFPs raise questions about the impact of this market based tool on local producers and communities. Drawing from case studies in Latin America, we find that there are many impediments to the successful implementation of NTFP certification. These impediments range from unorganized and powerless laborers to basic difficulties in commercializing NTFPs to undeveloped demand for certified products among businesses and consumers. However, the process of creating NTFP certification standards may create positive ripple effects among producers, traders, companies and policy makers by planting the seeds for a vision of more socially and environmentally responsible management of NTFP resources. We conclude that the ability of certification to indirectly leverage wider social change may prove to be of greater lasting impact to rural livelihoods and NTFP management than mere labeling and marketing.

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