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Global Forest Footprints: Can they lead the way towards more integrative forest governance? - Dr. Connie McDermott

This talk reviews over twenty years of international efforts to promote sustainable management of the world’s forests. It begins by presenting the concept of forest footprints as a means to understand the global and multi-sectoral nature of today’s forest challenges. It then reviews trends in international forest governance from this footprint perspective. It describes the first phase of international governance as focused on sustainable forest management resulting in battles over the meaning of “sustainability” and limited impact on global footprints. Focus then narrowed to promoting legality in timber trade, with the promise of more widespread impact but with questionable implications for sustainability and equity. Finally, the integration of forests into the global climate regime has involved a further narrowing of focus to the valuation of forest carbon, but again concerns around sustainability and equity remain as core stumbling blocks. The presentation concludes by considering the potential for holistic thinking about forest footprints as a way to increase cross-institutional and cross-sectoral policy learning and foster more integrative strategies for forest governance.

 

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