Holding private sector and the state accountable: Learning for transformational change within and beyond the forestry sector

Brockhaus, M. (Chair of organizing committee)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Description

Organising a session on
Holding private sector and the state accountable: Learning for transformational change within and beyond the forestry sector

Many of today’s environmental policy problems such as deforestation and the existing inequities in rights and benefits from natural resources are deeply rooted in historical processes and patterns of global trade and investment within and beyond the forestry sector. To tackle these problems, in many international fora there is a strong call to involve ‘the private sector’ as part of the solution, and private and hybrid policy instruments relying on voluntary commitments have become more and more popular.

Some argue that success in achieving such commitments will rely, among others, on the capacity of civil society organisations (CSO) to hold state and private sector accountable to their promises. Besides the need for formal accountability structures, there is the assumption that a number of enabling conditions can enhance transparency and lead to desired transformational change away from unsustainable business-as-usual and the existing power relations that support it: i) new information (for example analysis of historical environmental footprints, spatially explicit analysis of emission displacement and leakage), ii) new technologies (e.g. remote sensing), and iii) new coalitions with interaction and cooperation between different members of the civil society such as independent research and for example indigenous peoples groups, environmental NGOs or consumer associations (as demonstrated in the case of the Volkswagen emissions scandal).

For the policy problem of deforestation, ambitious goals have been set, most notably within the Climate Change Convention, the New York Declaration on Forests, and in the SDG 15. So far, however, rhetoric still dominates, large scale international investments in and benefits elsewhere from tropical deforestation continue, and measurable outcomes in terms of reduced deforestation are limited. Hence, this session calls for papers that investigate enabling (or hindering) conditions for CSO to hold private sector (and the state) accountable, and which can provide lessons to successfully reduce deforestation.

Period24 Nov 2017
Event typeConference
LocationTurku, Finland
Degree of RecognitionInternational