Integrating ecosystem services in international value chains: An innovation system framework and guidelines for case study research with reference to Dutch policy support for strengthening ecosystem services in the tropical timber chain

Publication Type: 
Total Pages: 
113
Published On: 
2013

This WOt Working document explores the governance options available to the Dutch government for the promotion of the sustainable use and maintenance of ecosystem services in tropical timber value chains with Dutch links and how ecosystem services can be given a more explicit place in the public and market mechanisms that govern the tropical timber chain. This document presents the results of a discourse analysis on how Dutch policies and practice address ecosystem services along with the results of a detailed examination of four specific cases of innovation from within the tropical timber chain: the Sustainable Trade Action Plan (STAP) 2011-2015, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and ForCES certification, the Dutch public procurement policy and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative. From the discourse analysis this document concludes that the term ecosystem services is not yet clearly defined, a result of its strong link to markets and attempts to define it in terms of economic value. Lessons to be learnt from the analysis of the four innovation cases include the need to simplify what is meant by ecosystem services, the need for evidence of the impact of certification and how it maintains or enhances ecosystem services, the need to work towards a list of internationally agreedupon impact indicators; the need to harmonize the array of certification schemes available and the need to know how the government can mix policy strategies using market based ‘carrots’ and incentive based ‘sticks’ (such as tax incentives and pilots) to stimulate new partnerships. These lessons have resulted in five recommendations for the Dutch government on how to further integrate sustainable use and maintenance of ecosystem services in the tropical timber chain.

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