Forest certification (eco-labeling) programs and their policy-making authority: explaining divergence among North American and European case studies
In recent years, transnational and domestic non-governmental organizations have created private standard setting bodies whose purpose is to recognize officially companies and landowners practicing ‘sustainable forest management’. Eschewing traditional state processes and state authority, these certification programs have turned to the market to create incentives and force compliance to their rules. This paper compares the emergence of this non-state market driven (NSMD) phenomenon in the forest sector in eight regions in North Am40erica and Europe. We specifically seek to understand the role of forest companies and landowners in granting competing forest certification programs ‘legitimacy’ to create the rules. We identify distinct legitimation dynamics in each of our cases, and then develop seven hypotheses to explain differences in support for forest certification.