Since its creation more than two decades ago as a voluntary market-based approach to improving forest management, forest certification has proliferated rapidly in developing countries. Yet we know little about whether and under what conditions it affects deforestation. We use rich forest management unit-level panel data—including information on deforestation, certification, regulatory permitting, and geophysical and socioeconomic land characteristics—along with matched fixed effects models to identify the effect of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on deforestation in Mexico, the country with the third-highest number of FSC certifications in the developing world. We test for a variety of different temporal and subgroup effects but are unable to reject the null hypothesis that certification does not affect deforestation. Although these results do not indicate that FSC certification has no effect on forest management, they do suggest that its impact on deforestation may be limited.
Press Release — Oct 16, 2019
New Blog Post: PG&E Power Outages Reduce Just a Portion of Wildfire Risk
RFF Fellow Matthew Wibbenmeyer addresses the effectiveness of the PG&E outages in reducing wildfire risk.
PG&E Power Outages Reduce Just a Portion of Wildfire Risk
Power outages imposed by PG&E will impact consumers, but won't necessarily mitigate wildfire risk.
40 Big Ideas
A preview of Daniel Esty’s new book, "A Better Planet: 40 Big Ideas for a Sustainable Future"