How Appropriate is Certification for Small Scale Timber Producers in Melanesia

Research reports and studies
July 1998
Andrew Tolfts

The community-based timber production (CTP) projects of Melanesia could potentially benefit a great deal from certification, which allows access to foreign 'ecotimber' markets. Examining circumstances in the Solomon Islands, this paper found that CTP projects were hard pressed to meet some of the principles and criteria required for certification through the Forest Stewardship Council. For example, the system of customary land tenure typical of Melanesia meant that they could not prove the necessary level of security of tenure. Certification was also expensive to achieve because of the costs of monitoring and record-keeping. Among ways to overcome these difficulties, the author suggested that a national certification body be formed.

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