Introduction Much of the controversy surrounding global forest degradation emanates from debates about the appropriate trade-off between development and conservation objectives. Some assert that biodiversity and ecosystem loss has been so great that anthropocentric concerns can no longer be primary, while advocates for poverty alleviation argue that such a perspective downplays the perilous plight of indigenous communities and forest dependent peoples. This chapter assesses the formation of a key non-state global intervention, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which was designed to simultaneously address both objectives. Created in 1993, the FSC provides a certificate of ‘well managed’ forestry to firms and/or land owners who pass an audit against pre-established social and environmental standards. Initially receiving cautious responses, the FSC has become a key international forest governance player, overseeing, as of June 2010, the certification of roughly 133 million hectares of forestlands in 79 countries. This chapter reflects on the implications of the FSC’s past and present impacts for its future development in the following parts. First, we review the origins and design of the FSC, giving particular attention to the evolution of its substantive standards and procedures. Second, we explore support for the FSC and competing programmes. Third, we review ongoing debates about the FSC’s role in improving global forest management practices. The fourth section discusses the FSC’s current and potential effectiveness in a world of changing preferences, evolving support and impacts on public policy.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203126929
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Auld, G, & Cashore, B. (Benjamin). (2013). The Forest Stewardship Council. In Business Regulation and Non-State Actors. London: Routledge, 2012, Edited by Reed, A. M., Reed, D. , Utting, P.. doi:10.4324/9780203126929