Certification schemes have emerged in recent years to become a significant and innovative venue for standard setting and governance in the environmental realm. This review examines these schemes in the forest sector where, arguably, their development is among the most advanced of the sustainability labeling initiatives. Beginning with the origins, history, and features of schemes, the review synthesizes and assesses what we know about the direct effects and broader consequences of forest certification. Bearing in mind underlying factors affecting producers' decisions to certify, direct effects are examined by describing the uptake of schemes, the improvements to management of audited forests, and the ameliorative potential of certification for landscape-level concerns such as deforestation and forest protection. In assessing broader consequences, we look beyond the instrument itself to detail positive and negative unintended consequences, spillover effects, and longer-term and slow-moving effects that flow from the emergence of the certification innovation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Effectiveness, Environmental governance, Forest certification, Nonstate governance, Social and environmental certification
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.environ.33.013007.103754
Series Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Auld, G, Gulbrandsen, L.H. (Lars H.), & McDermott, C.L. (Constance L.). (2008). Certification schemes and the impacts on forests and forestry. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. doi:10.1146/annurev.environ.33.013007.103754