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Keywords:

  • Forestry sector;
  • Forest Stewardship Council;
  • Commission des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale;
  • international forestry governance;
  • certification schemes;
  • Africa

Abstract

International forestry governance is an integral part of the global policy debates on how to prevent deforestation, illicit extraction, and unsustainable timber practices. Africa is an important producer of timber, yet the region is beset by a lack of capacity and other governance challenges in the management of its forestry sector. We employ a network governance analysis to examine the extent to which the evolution and operation of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and la Commission des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (COMIFAC) have addressed governance challenges. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of these two leading examples of international forestry governance by introducing recent evidence and insights from Africa. We conclude with a policy-relevant discussion of how the FSC and COMIFAC might enhance authority, legitimacy, and effectiveness and improve forestry governance in Africa and other parts of the world.