The longstanding Program on Forest Policy and Governance, itself a key part of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, focuses its efforts on developing appropriate and effective forest policy solutions through research, training, and practitioner engagement. Our overriding question is to assess how widespread but fragmented current policy interventions might be integrated in ways that lead us toward productive and effective pathways. We include in our integration efforts:
Illegal logging and “good forest governance” initiatives
“Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation” (REDD+)
The effects of the international forest regime on domestic policy making
Comparing forest practices policies across countries
A key question that emerges is to identify how illegal logging and REDD initiatives might be best constructed to ameliorate environmental stewardship, reduce or reverse emissions from forests, provide for forest dependent livelihoods, and foster sustainable economic development.
One of the most relevant accomplishments in terms of press coverage has been participation in the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) volume 28 titled “Embracing Complexity: Meeting the Challenges of International Forest Governance” which discusses the need for “Forests+”. This global assessment report of more than 60 researchers from all around the world concluded that there was need for recognizing that it is impossible to seriously address forests without recognition of the people who live in them and depend upon them, as well as the multitude of competing land use pressures for converting forests to other uses such as palm oil, agriculture, mining and urban development.
Numerous articles have been published on forest governance by this subsection of the GEM initiative. Notably these articles have covered topics such as legality verification to combat illegal logging, forests’ role in climate change, and international comparisons of forest regulations. Also, these articles have appeared in many different academic journals such as Forest Politics and Economics, Global Environmental Politics, and Regulation and Governance.
The book Governing through Markets
, which is also a product of the Program on Private Authority and Environmental Governance, was produced with the previous head of program on Forest Policy and Governance, Dr. Graeme Auld, and received accolades such as the “Sprout Award” for the best book on international environmental policy and politics for 2005.
Dr. Cashore and Michael Stone were joint recipients of the Sobotka Research Fund, Collaborative Research Grants in Business and Environment of 2011 for encouraging the collaboration of professors and graduate students at Yale. That grant led to the research on the United States policy making of the Lacey Act amendment of 2008 and to the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements between the European Union with both Malaysia and Indonesia.
This program has a large number of articles in press or preparing for publication in the near future. Articles which are under review or are already accepted for publication include: Ben Cashore and Michael W. Stone: “Can Legality Verification Rescue Global Forest Governance” forthcoming in Forest Policy and Economics
; Ben Cashore and Michael W. Stone: “Does California Need Delaware? Revisiting Vogel’s ‘Trading Up’ Hypothesis Through the Case of Legality Verification” under review in Regulation and Governance
; Katherine O’Neill, Erika Weinthal, Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Steven Bernstein, Avery Cohn, Michael W. Stone and Ben Cashore: “Methods and Global Environmental Governance: Reflection, Relevance and Rigor” under review in Annual Review of Environment and Resources
The planned culmination of the work on illegal logging will be a book comparing the European Union and United States approaches to illegal logging.