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According to Richards et al (2006) "Of the 109 million hectares certified globally by all certification programs... only 3% are in tropical settings, and of this certified tropical area only a small percentage is in natural forest settings. Many have been disappointed by and critical of the limited impact of certification in this region, including donors, forest advocates and the forest industry."

Is such 'disappointment' justified? 

This report argues that an objective evaluation of forest certification in the tropics, and specifically Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, shows that the impacts are more significant, quantitatively and qualitatively, than critics care to recognize. The evidence is that demand for certification is leading to an increase in sustainable forest management in the tropics. But certification is no quick fix, and it does not operate in isolation of more traditional efforts to support sustainable management. Greater governmental and intergovernmental support would enhance its impact.

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