Private Sector Forest Legality Initiatives as a Complement to Public Action

10 Mar 2010
Rainforest Alliance (Richard Z. Donovan)

Over the past 20 years a number of public and private sector forest products and forest-related legality verification and certification initiatives have been developed. Real progress has been made.

However, governments, civil society, NGOs, and in particular businesses, face real challenges. These include the proliferation of legality standards, checklists, frameworks and auditing processes around the world, and the absence of coordination or clear relationships between the various public and private sector initiatives. Overall, how can these various initiatives be more efficiently related so that the end goal – a global market where illegal and unsustainable forest products is inconsequential – can be reached, and more specifically what role should the private sector play?

This paper presents a discussion of some of the related public and private sector initiatives, and in particular examines issues facing private sector legality auditing, verification or certification initiatives, exploring options for private initiatives to better complement, or to improve, public sector initiatives from around the world.