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Local Consequences of Applying International Norms: Differences in the Application of Forest Certification in Northern Sweden, Northern Finland, and Northwest Russia

E. Carina H. Keskitalo, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeň University
Camilla Sandstr÷m, Department of Political Science, Umeň University
Maria Tysiachniouk, Centre for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg, Russia
Johanna Johansson, Department of Political Science, Umeň University

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Abstract

Forest certification, developed in the early 1990s, is a process in which independent assessors grant use of the certification label to producers who meet certain environmental and social criteria set for their forest products. This label was quickly seen to offer a market advantage and to signal corporate social and environmental responsibility. This paper focuses on international norms pertaining to environmental and indigenous rights, as manifested in cases of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)-compatible certification, and how these norms have been applied domestically and perceived locally in different states. Case studies are drawn from northern Sweden, northern Finland, and three regions in northwest Russia. The studies illustrate that the choice and implementation of certification type depend considerably on national infrastructure and market characteristics and result in substantial differences in the impact that international norms have at the local level.

Key words

adaptive capacity; Finland; forest certification; Russia; Sweden
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087