استاندارد سازی توسعه پایدار؟ فرایند بررسی سیاست کشت و زرع شورای نظارت جنگل به عنوان حکومت های زیست محیطی نئولیبرال
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29356||2010||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12540 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 117–129
Trans-nationally-scaled, multi-stakeholder, non-governmental product certification systems are emerging as important elements of neoliberal environmental governance. However, analysts question the extent to which they represent effective alternatives to the damaging impacts of neoliberalized, global production. They call for work examining the environmental politics arising in these new arenas of regulation, where social movements advocating environmental conservation and social justice interact with business interests in debates over how to use neoliberal tools to govern global commodity chains. This article examines The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) process to revise tree plantation certification standards. First, it considers the political process surrounding standard-setting and argues that tensions between rigor, legitimacy, and acceptability restrain the political struggles over standards within voluntary, multi-stakeholder environmental governance organizations. It proffers findings at odds with the expectation that mainstreaming diminishes the rigor of social and environmental standards. Second, it speculates on the implications of this form of neoliberal environmental governance for promoting more sustainable productions of nature. The review process failed to adequately consider the role of plantation certification in strategies for natural forest conservation. Neither did it adequately consider vital questions of the appropriate scale and location of production, the community actors best suited to deliver both forest conservation and poverty alleviation, or the need to encourage reduced consumption. The reliance on a neoliberal framework and values limits the scope of action. These contradictions suggest that FSC certification is an important part of what needs to be a broader movement questioning current practices of environmentally damaging production and complicit, complacent, consumption.
As commodity networks link producers, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers, they change the world. Nature is literally produced in this process: plants and animals and ecosystems are transformed into landscapes of production, processing, and consumption, with many implications for worker safety, consumer health, environmental transformation, and social justice (Smith and O’Keefe, 1989, Castree, 2001 and Watts, 2004). At the same time, the commodity networks producing nature are themselves shaped by trends in economic globalization that permit increasingly powerful trans-national firms to thread together far-flung sites of production, by the ideas and structures of neoliberalism, and sometimes by social movements promoting sustainable development through innovative mechanisms leveraging improvements to the environmental and social conditions of production. The relationships of state, market, and civil society are reconfigured and re-scaled in this cauldron. The resulting transformations of regulatory practice comprise one of the most important themes in contemporary human-environment research (Watts, 2002, Liverman, 2004 and McCarthy and Prudham, 2004), and scholars increasingly document and analyze the resulting forms of what might be called neoliberal environmental governance (Brand and Gorg, 2003, Lawrence, 2005, Hughes, 2006 and Gorg, 2007). Trans-nationally-scaled, multi-stakeholder product certification systems are emerging as important elements of neoliberal environmental governance. Such systems consist of a body of standards, an independent inspection, and a product label. Analysts question whether they can successfully challenge negative aspects of neoliberal productions of nature, or if their initial challenge is inevitably eroded by increasing exposure to powerful market actors and their demands, and excessively limited by their reliance on neoliberal approaches. To improve understanding of this evolving phenomenon, this article examines the process, debate, and recommendations for standards governing plantation certification at the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an important and illustrative example of certification systems which is asserting social and environmental goals into the governance of the wood commodity network. Furthermore, it examines the way competing tensions to increase acceptability, maintain rigor, and preserve legitimacy restrain and shape the debate over standards. Finally, it identifies the implications of the debate for the FSC’s role in promoting sustainable development from within an essentially neoliberal scope of action.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Trans-nationally-scaled, multi-stakeholder product certification systems are emerging as important elements of neoliberal environmental governance. Certification relies on evaluations and audits using an evolving set of standards, and as these systems mainstream, many analysts expect these standards to erode and the certification organizations to lose legitimacy as they are captured by the most powerful stakeholders. In the case of the FSC process for review of plantation standards, a globalized certification project unexpectedly maintains important venues for democratic participation and the initial recommendations resulting from this process call for increased attention to social issues. However, calls to drastically increase the proportion of certifications going to community groups were dropped, calls from some groups to cease or curtail the certification of plantations were not heeded, and support for the FSC is diminished in some quarters. These gains and losses reflect the tradeoff between (1) the social and environmental rigor of standards demanded by some activist environmental and social NGOs, (2) the acceptability of these standards to forest managers, wood manufacturers, retailers, and the auditing firms directly involved in forest management, and (3) the legitimacy of the certification standards and process among activist NGOs and other stakeholders. As certification systems mainstream, their alternative character is likely to erode; lower standards are a tradeoff for increased acceptability. The need to protect system legitimacy, however, provides countervailing pressure to maintain inclusiveness and rigorous standards. Many observers hope certification will leverage substantial changes in global patterns of production and consumption, but others suggest that the neoliberal framework implicit in certification limits the scope of action. They question whether strategies based on markets and consumption can effectively challenge global inequities without parallel approaches that promote diminished consumption, that decrease the spatial and social distance between production and consumption, and that challenge the commodity strategies of giant retailers and giant producers (McAfee, 1999 and Klooster, 2006). The FSC’s plantation certification debate highlights the contradictions of using a consumption-oriented, market-based strategy to address social and environmental implications of development. Modifications to the plantation certification process will improve plantation management, with social and environmental improvements over business-as-usual. Nevertheless, the plantation review process failed to clarify the role of plantations in forest conservation, nor did it adequately address the question of community producers, the appropriate scale of production, the distance between production and consumption, or the commodity strategies of giant retailers and producers. Forest certification, it appears, is an important, but insufficient challenge to existing patterns of production and consumption. My analysis here suggests that certification schemes like the FSC do not offer a clear example of “actually existing sustainability” (Krueger and Agyeman, 2005; see also McCarthy, 2006). Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine a near future in which international trade in forest products is greatly diminished and in which government regulation is adequate to ensure sustainable production. In this context, forest certification provides useful and necessary reform. On a scale of black to white, the FSC is a bright and shiny grey. But it is not sufficient. Thus my analysis confirms the argument that to be transformative, certification needs to link to broader social movements (Barnett et al., 2005 and Guthman, 2007). FSC certification is an important part of what needs to be a broader movement questioning current practices of environmentally damaging production and complicit, complacent, consumption. A broader social movement should take a more critical view of markets. With a less naïve view of markets, the FSC could adopt a Fair Trade approach addressing the price premium issue and favoring community producers (Taylor, 2005 and Klooster, 2006), which, in fact, the organization plans to do (FSC, 2007b, p. 9). It could adopt specific mechanisms of promotion and compensation that require retailers to subsidize community producers. It could take measures to promote forest and plantation certification in the growing community forestry sector, which, it also proposes to do (FSC, 2007b). A broader social movement could make use of mechanisms external to existing markets to pay managers of natural forests for the positive environmental implications of their sound management. On the grounds of biodiversity and social implications, for example, compensation for environmental services such as carbon sequestration should favor community managers of natural forests and exclude intensive plantations (Klooster and Masera, 2000). Best estimates of direct plantation subsidies are US$2 billion, four times the amount of overseas direct assistance dedicated to forest conservation. Such subsidies should be directed towards ecosystem payments and technical assistance to community land managers (White et al., 2006). A broader social movement should also question an economic model that privileges unlimited demands for wood and paper products, easily condones the environmental costs related to long-distance shipping, fails to consider the environmental cost-shifting implied by the geographic separation between forest production and forest consumption (Berlik et al., 2002), blithely accepts the routine domination of markets dominated by a small number of actors, and fails to consider the role of such actors in the social construction of demand (Carrere and Lohmann, 1996). Folk wisdom holds that the answer to whether a glass is half full or half empty depends on whether you are drinking or pouring. In the case of changing standards for plantation certification in the FSC, does the process legitimate continued unsustainable development, or does it promote future sustainable development? The answer depends on whether forest certification is the endpoint, or becomes part of a much broader social movement posing a more profound challenge to conventional market relationships and current patterns of production and consumption.