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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Certification of forest ecosystem services: concept, development, and application Jaung, Wanggi

Abstract

Although forests provide various ecosystem services that support human welfare, forest ecosystems have undergone continuous degradation. To mitigate forest loss from illegal logging, forest certification was launched in the early-1990s, and the interest in certification has been expanding in scope from timber to a range of ecosystem services for a complete approach to sustainable forest management. This thesis defines such a certification scheme as the certification of forest ecosystem services (CFES). In the first part, I propose a conceptual framework for CFES and argue that a key function of the certification system is to disclose information on the provision of ecosystem services to the market. This function distinguishes CFES from forest certification and may support improvements of market-based policy instruments for ecosystem services (Chapter 2). The second part examines the possible development of CFES as an expansion of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) system, and analyzes the key FSC stakeholders, including certification bodies, enabling partners, and certificate holders. Their adaptability to ecosystem services was relatively high for biodiversity conservation, carbon storage, and non-timber forest products (Chapter 3). The adaptability also indicated that watershed and soil conservation services could be bundled to reduce the costs of certifying each service (Chapter 4). The FSC certificate holders preferred CFES that offers a price premium, technical training for forest owners, and/or access to global service markets, but their willingness to pay was low (Chapter 5). The third part focuses on applying CFES to a payment for watershed services in West Lombok, Indonesia. Service buyers, sellers, and intermediaries perceived certification as a potential tool to improve watershed management (Chapter 6). Buyers demanded certified services that disclose water quality, flood risk, and/or environmental and social forest safeguards (Chapter 7).

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