Researchers report that voluntary, market-driven agreements between corporations and environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can help reduce deforestation. Eco-certification systems and voluntary conservation agreements are considered powerful tools to slow deforestation, but opportunities to evaluate the relative success of different regimes have been scant. Robert Heilmayr and Eric Lambin compared the conservation outcomes from three forest conservation programs intended to halt deforestation in Chile. The policies included a largely industry-developed certification program, an NGO-instigated deforestation moratorium, and a certification program involving cooperation between industry and NGOs. The authors report that, on average, the Chilean nonstate conservation programs reduced deforestation by 2-23%. Policies that involved substantial collaboration between industry and NGOs were more effective at slowing deforestation than confrontational strategies designed by either industry or NGOs alone. The results also suggest that private, market-driven conservation programs can lower deforestation rates in areas of high deforestation, in contrast to many government conservation policies, which often target regions with low deforestation. Quantifying environmental outcomes from multiple nonstate, market-driven conservation programs may help stakeholders reduce environmental degradation driven by growing global trade in agricultural products, timber, and minerals, according to the authors. - See at PNAS.org
Article #16-00394: “Impacts of nonstate, market-driven governance on Chilean forests,” by Robert Heilmayr and Eric F. Lambin.