Skip to main content

Full text of "Sustainable use for global, national and community benefit: an analysis of utilisation and biodiversity conservation. Executive summary"

See other formats

Sustainable Use for Global, National and Community Benefit: 
An Analysis of Utilisation and Biodiversity Conservation 


A project funded under the Darwin Initiative 

compiled by 

Timothy M. Swanson and J. Carlos Fernandez U. 

Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge University 


Richard A. Luxmoore 
World Conservation Monitoring Centre 

December 1995 



W J At 1 

■ i m n 1 











j hl '2X168 

~ /. 

The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 

provides information services on the conservation and 

sustainable use of species and ecosystems and supports 

others in the development of their own 

information systems. 

Sustainable Use for Global, National and Community Benefit: 
An Analysis of Utilisation and Biodiversity Conservation 


A project funded under the Darwin Initiative 

compiled by 

Timothy M. Swanson and J. Carlos Fernandez U. 

Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge University 


Richard A. Luxmoore 
World Conservation Monitoring Centre 

December 1995 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge 


This document summarises the principles for the implementation of sustainable wildlife use 
at the global level for the purpose of securing maximum conservation and development 
benefits at the local level. It is based upon a series of case studies conducted for the purpose 
of analysing the meaning of sustainable use. These case studies are summarised within the 
document for the purpose of illustrating the basic principles of a sustainable use regime. 
The conclusion states that there is a need for a certification mechanism that certifies 
sustainability and engenders exclusive purchasing arrangements between certified 
producers and conservation-minded consumers. It is recommended that this mechanism be 
created at the multilateral level in order to induce the substantial investments required for 
its success and in order to make exclusive purchasing a legal obligation. 


Biodiversity is under threat from a number of distinct sources: over-exploitation, introduction of 
exotic species, habitat conversion and environmental pollution. At base, however, the problem of 
loss of biodiversity lies with the developmental process and the pressures that this places for social 
change and consequently land use and general environmental change. Species have adapted to one 
set of conditions and humans are reshaping the environment in ways that upset this equilibrium. 
Out of such conflicts come projections of global change and possible mass extinctions. 

The use of wildlife must be seen within the context of this fundamental conflict between human 
development and the conservation of biological diversity. All of the values of wildlife must be 
recognised and realised if it is to find its rightful position in relation to human development. This 
study focuses primarily on the use values of widlife . The non-use values may be equally large or, in 
some cases, greater, but they are difficult to quantify and mechanisms for capturing them are poorly 
developed. Until they have been, use values will form the bulk of market values of wildlife. The 
sad fact is that the future of all wildlife is now an economic question, simply because economics is 
defined as the study of the human allocation of resources between competing objectives. Species 
now have their future determined by decisions on resource allocation made by human societies, if 
not directly, then concerning the conservation of a habitat or its protection from pollution. Human 
societies have many competing objectives (health, education, recreation) and wildlife will have to 
compete with these for its allocation of resources. It will be the aggregate value of wildlife that will 
ultimately determine its allocation of resources, and hence its continued existence. 

This document outlines the conditions that are required to channel wildlife values, and especially 
use values, into constructive forces. This is a difficult task, as the history of wildlife use attests; 
however, there is no alternative. In this document, the basic principles of sustainable use are 
outlined in the context of several case studies. These principles point to the importance of the 
development of a sustainable use certification mechanism, which is described further in the 
concluding recommendation. There are good reasons for developing this mechanism at the 
multilateral level in order to make its recognition and enforcement a legal obligation. 

A. The Need for the Development of Wildlife Resources 

1. Local communities make the decisions on land uses that will determine the natural 
resources with which they live. 

2. Successful wildlife conservation policies are necessarily based in the sustainable 
development of the local communities down pathways that are compatible with the 
resources with which they live. 

3. Policies based on the prohibition of all use are unlikely to provide for the long term 
viability of a species. 

The case study of the different Monarch Butterfly reserves illustrates the first two points. In each 
case, the reserve was primarily designated to conserve the butterfly (as it was a critical habitat for 
the species), and the government had enacted a prohibition on alternative uses of the habitat that 
conflicted with this objective. Despite this prohibition, in all but one of these reserves, substantial 
use of the forest resources occurred, primarily timber extraction for commercial and subsistence use 
by local communities. The one exception occurred in the monarch butterfly reserve that had 
developed a substantial tourism-based economy around it. In this instance, the local community 
had come to view the reserve as an asset on which its development relied. Here, the local 
community's incentives were compatible with the national government's prohibition and, for that 
reason alone, the prohibition on alternative uses was effective. 

The third point is suggested by the case study of the Vicuna (summarised below in section E), 
which had been harvested almost to extinction, prior to the introduction of a prohibition on its use. 
Initially this prohibition met with success, the population soared severalfold, in response to 
conservation measures until it neared the carrying capacity. At this point, poaching increased and 
the population began to fall once more. An additional problem was that the vicuna is in competition 
with other domesticated livestock (llamas and alpacas) over its range. While the vicuna could not 
be harvested legally, it had zero use value for the local communities and, indeed, carried a 
significant opportunity cost as a competitor for grazing. In the long term it is unlikely that the local 
communities would have continued to tolerate these levels of competition. 

A. Conservation and development in the Monarch Butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve. 

The monarch butterfly. Danaus plexippus, 
undertakes one of the most outstanding 
examples of animal migration, described as 
"a unique biological phenomenon". Each 
winter, hundreds of millions of monarchs 
coalesce from a continent-wide distribution 
in North America to overwinter at as many as 
129 colonies in California and approximately 
10 small sites in central Mexico that range in 
area from 0.03 to 3.34 hectares of oyamel fir 
forest (see Map 1). 

Despite die fact diat the monarch butterfly is 
a common species, its migration to tightly 
aggregated overwintering sites makes this 
phase of its life history especially vulnerable. 
Hence, the conservation of these 
overwintering aggregations and their habitat 
is crucial. The fact that the monarch remains 
for up to 5 months in these heavily packed 
aggregations poses considerable problems for 
their conservation, particularly in Mexico, 
where socioeconomic pressures for land use 
are greatest. 

Map 1 . Migratory routes of the Monarch butterfly 

In California, the Xerces society secured funding for the Monarch Project in 1984 and started negotiating 
protective easements and landowner registrations. Unlike California, Mexico's overwintering sites are mostly 
located in communal and "ejido" land under community management, and the creation of private reserves is 
not feasible for most sites. In fact, only a fraction of one of the five biosphere reserves (Chincua) created to 
protect the monarch was bought from a private land owner. 

The oyamel fir forest, used exclusively by the monarch, has been exploited both for commercial and 
subsistence use in Mexico to a point that only 40,000-50,000 ha are thought to be left. Monarch colonies tend 
to aggregate in die higher and dense fir-dominated forest. This association is the main source of limitation on 
forestry activities in the region. There is, however, much controversy over which particular forest densities the 
butterflies select. Some studies have suggested that monarchs prefer moderately disturbed forests, leading to 
the belief that controlled forest management is a feasible conservation option and this is currently being 
developed in one of the reserves. 

The Monarch Butterfly was declared protected in 1980, but it was not until 1986 that the Monarch Butterfly 
Special Biosphere Reserve (MBSBR) was formed by decree and its boundaries established. In total, the reserve 
covers some 16,1 10 ha in the Mexican states of Mexico and Michoacan. The five areas constituting the reserve 
(Sierra El Campanario, Chivati-Huacal, Altamirano, Cerro Pelon and Sierra Chincua) differ significandy in 
size and degree of restrictions. The creation of the MBSBR direcdy affected 37 ejidos, 11 communities and 5 
small private properties. 

Table 1. 

Number of visitors (national and foreigners), total 
and entrance fee to the El Campanario Sanctuary 
during the seasons 1984-94 




'000 N\$ 

National Foreigners 















1989-90 \1 




61 ,822 



















\1 Estimate produced by SEDUE. 

Source: INE. 1992. SEDESOL 1994. 

As a means of involving the local community and to 
help alleviate the negative impacts of the restrictions 
on logging, a local NGO, Monarca AC, and the 
government have encouraged the development of 
tourism in one site open to the public (Cerro El 
Campanario). The promotion activities and the media 
rapidly increased the popularity of the site, from some 
7,500 visitors in 1984, to a peak 70,000 in 1990 
before declining to about 57,000 in 1993. The 
majority are national visitors who come from Mexico 
City, whereas most foreign tourism comes from the 
United States (Table 1). 

As a result of socioeconomic pressures, illegal logging 
has increased in most areas. An illegal network of 
intermediaries is still in operation, particularly in 
areas where the forest is not managed by the 
community. Analysis of deforestation in the five 
reserve areas between 1982 and 1990 shows 
significant differences among the various areas of the 
reserves. The least altered was El Campanario, where 
there is a local tourism industry, indicating that tourism has managed to curb land use conversion. The 
governments designation of monarch reserves has had little impact on areas other than this one (see Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Changes in land use patterns in the five polygons of the reserve between 1982/84 and 1989/90. 
Taken from SARH 1992. 

D Agricultural 
and livestock 
grazing land 

E3 Meadows and 

□ Open Forest 
D Closed Forest 
■ Dense Forest 





C. Pelon 

B. The Need for Managed Development of Wildlife Resources 

1. Use of wildlife is not, in itself, sufficient to establish incentives for its conservation - 
management is required for use to generate these. 

2. Governmental intervention in wildlife use should be directed to the creation of rents 
(restricted output) and the reduction of the costs of joint management (increased 

3. Rent appropriation is important because it creates incentives to invest in the resource. 
Monitoring is important because it reduces the incentives to over-exploit the resource. 

These points are best illustrated by the Red Sea Coral Reef case study of two tourism development 
sites. One, Hurghada, made use of its coral reef resource in an unrestricted fashion, where the 
government allowed unmanaged development of the shores along the reef. The other, Sharm. 
made use of its coral reef in a managed fashion, where the government restricted development 
density along the reef (tourism and fishing) and implemented a monitoring programme for 
compliance. The contrasting results were dramatic. In Hurghada, development density is nearly 
three times greater and the reef suffers from over-exploitation (three times as many visitors and 
twice as many boats), reckless exploitation (unnecessary damage from construction of hotels and 
unmanaged tours) and pollution (poor visibility). In Sharm, the restricted number of operators has 
rendered it possible for them to recognise their interdependence in their joint use of the reef, and 
thus they have invested in its conservation. The hoteliers in Sharm provide more mooring sites and 
diver briefings to spread impacts and reduce unnecessary damage. They have also invested in 
sewage controls and visibility is ten to twenty times greater than at Hurghada. Importantly, all of 
these investments earn a return. Hoteliers at Sharm are able to charge a fee double that applicable 
at Hurghada. It is this price differential between the controlled and the uncontrolled resource use 
that is the rent flowing from the resource. It is only through governmental restriction of use of the 
resource (and monitoring to ensure compliance with the restriction) that rents are created, and 
hence incentives to invest in the reef are induced. 

B. Sustainable Tourism in Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt. 

The Sinai peninsula, located at the northern- 
most part of the Red Sea, is embraced by the 
Gulf of Suez to the west and Aqaba to the 
east (Map 2). The Gulf of Aqaba is bordered 
by a luxuriant fringing reef which extends 
along almost the whole 200 km shoreline 
from Eilat (Israel) in the north to Ras 
Mohammed (Egypt), the southernmost tip of 
the peninsula, interrupted only by shallow 

The reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba are subject to 
few natural disturbances. The Red Sea is a 
narrow and almost enclosed body of water 
with generally small waves and very rare 
storms; the lack of river runoff, low 
planktonic primary production and extremely 
low rainfall result in very clear water. These 
features have all contributed to the biological 
uniqueness of the area; a relatively high 
diversity of corals and over one thousand 
species of fish living in transparent, warm 
waters have formed the basis for the region's 
popularity as a tourist destination. 

Map 2. The Ras Mohammed National Park and Hurghada. 

ggjj N abq 4 Abu Galium Maaa(«ical An* 
CD Raa Mcbammod Nalioaal Parle 

I I I Rm Mohammed Sector - additional 

The vicinity of Sinai's reefs to the European tourism market and Egypt's economic needs have led to an 
unprecedented increase in tourism and associated infrastructure. In 1983 the Government of the Arab Republic 
of Egypt declared the Ras Mohammed peninsula, a 'Marine Protected Area', in order to protect the coral reef 
and its tourism potential. Technical assistance from the EU supported an initial development phase. This first 
phase, lasting two and half years, demonstrated, among other things, that strict management of marine 
resources did not need to hinder development in South Sinai. One of the objectives of the management in place 
at Ras Mohammed was to show that all development in the area was resource dependent and that the 
degradation of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems would limit the area's economic potential, a message 
that has since been recognized by the private investors in the region. 

Despite the fact that since 1988 the number of hotels in South Sinai has increased from 5 to 36 and the number 
of diving centres from 5 to 26 in response to the higher demand, many of the usual negative consequences of 
tourism development have been avoided at Ras Mohamed. Some of the more common effects, such as siltation 
due to construction, waste water discharge, damage from collecting, fish feeding, over-fishing, anchoring and 
diver damage are, for the most part, absent in the Ras Mohammed National Park Management Sector. 

Measures to minimize the negative impacts of tourist on reefs (e.g. environmental education, walkways, 
sewage systems, moorings) have been deployed in the RMNP, some of them state-funded, but an increasing 
proportion have resulted from private investment (see Table 2), after realizing the benefits of conservation. 
Some hotel managers indicated that lack of diving intensity limitations would increase their revenue by 10- 
15% per year but only for two-three years at most. Indeed, a niche in specialized tourism has been created and 
operators are keen to maintain it. 

From a survey, the majority of visitors rated the Ras Mohammed Sector reefs and associated marine life very 
highly. More than 50% of visitors surveyed rated the South Sinai reefs better than other destinations when 
describing corals, fish life and visibility, respectively. This clearly shows the benefits of management and 
controlled development. 

The mechanisms in place at Ras Mohammed, however, are 
by no means standard in the region and the effects of 
unregulated tourism can be seen in other reefs in 
continental Egypt, such as Hurghada. The resort of 
Hurghada was established nearly 30 years ago and rapidly 
became a tourist destination for Europeans. The less 
controlled development led to massive hotel development 
between the coastal road and the shoreline and, in 
particular, on the back reef itself. Developed under lax 
regulations, Hurghada represents an example of resultant 
environmental collapse and loss of an economic resource. 
Use levels of the reef are much higher than in Sharm, dive 
packages selling for up to 50% less than in Sinai and 
providing a lower quality service. Boats are having to take 
their customers further south along the Egyptian mainland 
in search of less degraded reefs. Table 2 presents the sharp 
contrast between the quantity and quality of development 
between Sharm and Hurghada. 

Successful management at Sharm has so far prevented the 
resort from following the same course of development as 
Hurghada. From an economic point of view, the rents to 
resource "appropriators', i.e. the tourism industry, created 
through restricted output, have to be maintained to 
encourage resource investment (management costs). In 
Hurghada, rents appear to have been almost dissipated and 
the open access to the reef has eroded all incentives for 
individual firms to protect it. 

Table 2. Some key parameters 

at Sharm el Sheikh and 

Hurghada. Most data from 



NATIONAL PARK (SHARM) and Fawzi (1995), HEPCA 

and Medio (pers. obs.). 



Government Intervention 

Urban planning 



Monitoring programme 



Public awareness prog. 



Fishing regulations 



Development density indicator* 




Dive centres 






Investment for conservation 

Dive sites 



Fixed moorings 



Diver briefing (% dive centres, 



Conservation benefits 

Sewage pollution 






Underwater visibility (m) 



Anchor damage 



Rents from conservation 

Avg. price of package 



This situation is illustrated in Figure 2. While Sharm caters for specialised tourism, Hurghada pursues a mass 
tourism strategy offering a lower natural quality. The significant difference in package prices indicates the 
extent of rent dissipation in Hurghada, with Sharm operators capturing rents in the area P m -A-C-C m in 
Figure 2, while rents in Hurghada are dissipated (C u = P u ). 

Quantitative and qualitative supply restrictions appear to be critical for the maintenance of appropriate rent 
levels. Current management at Sharm addresses both by limiting the number of boats per site, passengers per 
boat, number of diving sites (quantitative), while also providing environmental awareness talks to the visitors, 
requiring appropriate sewage systems and infrastructure designs to minimise damage per visitor (qualitative). 
These findings stress the need for regulation to complement and, direct market forces to generate conservation. 

Figure 2. The regulated (Sharm) versus unregulated (Hurghada) tourism. 

Price, cost 

Pm . 

supply cost 

supply cost 




Xu Diving intensity 

50,000-75,000 (dives/year) 

Notes: By controlhns and restricting the access to the reefs, operators in Sharm are able to maintain prices (Pm) above costs (Cm) and earn a 
positive rent from the resource at the regulated level of diving intensity (Xm), represented by the shaded area. In contrast, the lack of control 
allowed the significant expansion of the industry, to a point that tourism related damage reduced the quality of the reef. Moreover, operator costs 
are increasing as a result if the search for better reefs and they are forced to lower prices to maintain their share in the market. As a result, rents 
from the resource have been eroded and operators charge prices (Pu) equal to their cost (Cu) at the unregulated level of diving intensity (Xu). 

The fast future growth expected in Sharm will have to be counterbalanced by maintaining current incentives to 
protect the reef at the tour operator level. This will not only depend on the enforcement capacity of the 
management authority, but also on the continued existence of positive rents to be gained from conservation 


C. The Respective Roles of Individuals, States and International Institutions in the 
Management of Wildlife 

1. There are distinct roles for several different levels of wildlife management: individuals 
and local communities, states and international institutions. 

2. Financial incentives will induce individuals to manage wildlife resources in the social 
interest, with two provisos: a) they must be made to perceive the full social cost and/or value 
of the impacts of their decisions with regard to the resources they are managing; and b) they 
must be made to perceive the value of cooperating with others in their community with 
regard to the resource. 

3. The role of the state is to correct individual incentives where they conflict with the social 
good, and to maximise rents from the use of the resource. This means that states should: a) 
internalise costs external to the individual's decision making framework; b) aid individuals 
in contracting between each other for this purpose; and c) implement policies that manage 
aggregate production from the resource. 

4. The role of international institutions is to aid states in accomplishing their objectives, 
when certain of their problems transcend national boundaries. This means that 
international institutions should: a) internalise values of wildlife that exist beyond state 
boundaries; and b) aid states in implementing their rent appropriation policies. 

These points are best illustrated within the context of the Southern African Conservancy Case 
Study. In Namibia in 1967 the state took wildlife management in a new direction by devolving 
management of all wildlife on private property to the individual landholder. Despite fears of 
uncontrolled harvesting of wildlife, the opposite has been the case. The number of species on 
Namibian private lands has increased several fold, and the total biomass of wildlife has doubled 
over this period. The financial incentives to use wildlife resources are substantially greater than to 
use domesticated livestock over much of the arid range of southern Africa, and individual 
landholders are acting in recognition of these incentives. 

The state retains important management roles in regard to the wildlife resource, even when 
individuals are given a recognised or primary management role. First, the individuals only respond 
to the financial incentives to invest in wildlife, not the socially correct ones; this indicates that the 
state has a role in internalising external costs. For example, the landowners in Namibia are not 
only re-introducing the wildlife species once eradicated by active government livestock 
programmes, they are also introducing exotic species demanded by big game hunters. These 
exotics have potentially large ecological cost, and it is the government's role to make certain that 
the individuals bear this cost when making this decision 

Secondly, there are many other externalities of wildlife management which individuals may be able 
to internalise through joint management with one another. This has occurred in southern Africa 
through the emergence of the conservancy movement, whereby neighours join together to manage 
their property for wildlife conservation. This has resulted in the removal of interior fences and joint 
investment in the provision of water and the re-stocking of wildlife species, investments that would 


have been impossible in the absence of cooperation to increase the scale of the operation. The role 
of the state here has been to aid these individuals in the enforcement of their contracts. The 
conservancies depend for their success upon the monitoring of individual use of the joint assets. 
Namibia provides this monitoring by means of the requirement of a state-licensed guide with each 
hunting party and the requirement for annual state-monitored wildlife censuses. These auditing 
roles of the state increase the efficiency of wildlife management based on individual incentives. 

Thirdly, as indicated in the Coral Reef case study, the ultimate objective of the state in wildlife 
management must be the inducement of individual investments by means of restrictions on 
aggregate harvesting. Overuse, even in the aggregate, drives down the prices for everyone, and 
restricts the availability of rents. The state should always look to restrict entry to the market in 
order to maintain high prices and rent-induced investments. 

These points indicate the nature of the role of an international institution as well. There are certain 
of the above roles of a state which extend beyond its borders, and hence cannot be managed by one 
state alone. The southern African wildlife case study provides a good example, where the focus is 
on those uses which produce the greatest appropriable value. These tend to be uses for which 
travel to those countries is a requirement, i.e. tourism and sport hunting. There are other values of 
wildlife which do not involve travel to the host state, and these are less easily appropriated by the 
host state in the absence of international cooperation. For example, a pilot study in the U.K. 
indicated that the average person might be willing to contribute £10 for programmes to ensure the 
conservation of the black rhinoceros, an exclusively southern African species. It is one of the roles 
of an international institution to enable the host state to appropriate such transnational values so 
that they may be applied to conservation there. 

An international institution may also assist in the pursuit of other objectives of the host state, such 
as the monitoring and enforcement of rent-creation policies. Whenever the producers of a wildlife 
resource are in one country and the primary consumers are in another, international cooperation 
will be required in order to implement any sort of policy directed to rent maximisation. For 
example, producer states might need to implement an aggregate quota on production, and 
consumer states could assist by monitoring imports and restricting them to designated quantities 
and suppliers. 


C. Conflicts in Wildlife Conservation-The Role of Property Rights: the Southern African Conservancies 

Map 3. Tne Khomas Hochland Conservancy, Namibia 

The southern African conservancy movement 
originated initially in the legislation passed 
in 1967 by the South West African (now 
Namibian) assembly by giving "the owner 
and occupier of a farm full ownership of all 
game, other than specially protected and 
protected game, while such game is lawfully 
upon such farm and while such farm is 
enclosed with a sufficient fence." It was this 
"privatisation" approach to wildlife that 
generated an entirely different management 
system for the wild animals in what is now 
Namibia. Subsequently, nearly identical 
legislation was adopted in Zimbabwe, 
extending these rights of ownership to 
commercial farmers and then to communal 
areas in 1982. 

Once private property rights in game species 

were in place, the individual landowner had 

the capacity to capture the use values of 

wildlife on his land. The immediate problem 

facing these individuals was that in many 

cases the individual landholdings were 

insufficient to support the range of the wildlife species. Much of the Namibian territory is extremely arid and 

wildlife must range across large territories in order to browse successfully and to locate water supplies. 

Although individual ranches are usually very large (c. 5-10,000 ha), the individual range of many of the 

wildlife species in these arid districts is often even larger. 

The solution to such problems has come with the establishment of a contractual relationship between 
neighbouring landowners providing for the joint management of the wildlife species that range across their 
lands. In such agreements, between ten and twenty landowners join together to establish a common outside 
boundary around a more substantial land area, and principles for the joint management and use of the wildlife. 
In Namibia there are at present four conservancies: Ngarangombe (100,000 ha), Waterberg (150,000 ha), 
Khomas Hochland (130,000 ha) and Black Nossob (130,000 ha). Each of these conservancies has been 
registered with the Namibian Ministry of Environment, and has agreed to certain regulations governing its 
registration; such a registration is necessary in order for the landowners to have their land designated for joint 

The conservancy concept constitutes a solid groundwork for the joint management of game species by both 
getting the individual users involved in the development of the control policy and by having an outside 
presence involved in the implementation of that policy. The former element is important in making the policy 
acceptable, and thus enforceable at least cost. The latter element is essential for providing the assurance that 
all parties are complying with the agreement, removing the incentive to free-ride on the others' compliance. 

The key to this programme is the values that these species generate, and the benefit sharing system that has 
been implemented. Each hunter must pay a trophy fee for any animal bagged on the conservancy property as 
well as for lodging and a licensed guide. The hunter is recruited from Europe or the U.S. and his lodging fee 
is kept by the landowner who recruits and lodges him. However, once the hunter is within the conservancy, 
the individual conservancy member is welcome to hunt on any of the conservancy property. The landowner on 
whose property the game is bagged is entided to a specified share of the trophy fee, and the conservancy itself 
receives a further 5% of this specified fee; the recruiter conservancy member is entitled to the rest of the trophy 
fee as well as the lodging fee. 


This benefit sharing 

arrangement allows for the 
various landholders to share in 
the benefits of game 
ownership, even if they do not 
themselves engage in 

recruiting and lodging trophy 
hunters. All that is required is 
that they participate in the 
joint management actions that 
enable the use of their land by 
game species. In addition, the 
levy collected by the 
conservancy itself is used to 
fund jointly beneficial 
management activities, 

including restocking of game 
species and the construction of 
exterior game-proof fences. 

Therefore, as a direct result of the financial incentives inherent in the privatisation of wildlife within Namibia, 
private landowners are in the process of removing fences erected earlier this century and re-stocking species 
that were eradicated in the process of these earlier conversions. In addition, it is clear that these are only the 
first steps down the road toward wildlife-based land uses. Conservancies continue to look for members and are 
in the process of importing other wildlife (giraffe, impala) in the hopes of developing the ecotourism-based 
values of its lands as well. 

Namibian Regulation of the Conservancy Movement 

The state regulations that affect the members of a Namibian conservancy: 

- the conservancy must have a common boundary within which all 
landowners are members 

- the conservancy must have a secure external fence marking its boundary 

- the conservancy must have a constitution governing its objectives and a 
standing committee responsible to the state for meeting those objectives 

- the conservancy must provide for rules concerning management and use 
(benefit sharing) 

- management rules must provide for ongoing monitoring of specified 
characteristics of the game species (e.g. populations, trophy sizes, sex 
ratios) and it must allow the state to participate in that monitoring 

- the conservancy must provide a state-licensed guide on each trophy hunt 

The analysis of economic 
returns from alternative 
land use models at 
various scales of 
operation offers 

important insights into 
the economic forces at 
work. First, there is a 
positive financial return 
to game ranching on 
Namibian land, even at 
the individual landowner 
level; however, it is 
apparent that this is not a 
socially beneficial use of 
capital as the rates of return are relatively low for this economy (i.e. in the region of 4-5%). The economies of 
scale realisable when several landowners work together in the provision of wildlife services changes this 
picture quite dramatically. At the scale of most existing conservancies (i.e. c. 100,000 ha.) the rates of return 
increase to economically competitive levels (i.e. 8-10%). This is the incentive for the creation of these large 
landholdings under joint management. Even more importantly, when the real social costs of the factors used 
in these operations are evaluated (rather than the prices actually paid) the rates of return to a conservancy 
escalate to a very impressive level (i.e. 13-20%). These studies provide a picture of privatisation-led land use 
determinations (through fiscal incentives) that are generating substantial value for the society as a whole. 

Joint Management Actions of the K nomas Hochland Conservancy 

The joint management actions taken by the Khomas Hochland conservancy since 
its initiation in September 1992, have included: 

-the reduction of the cattle stocking levels on the conservancy lands; 
-the opening of waterholes to game during the dry season; 

- the removal of two wire strands from the interior fences; 

- the erection of game proof fences on some of the exterior boundary; 

- the stocking of new wildlife species (hartebeest); 

- the development of common marketing organisation (brochure, agent). 


Governmental Interventions - Land Use Conflicts 

Interventions Required for Market Determined Optima] Land Uses: 

- Remove distortions in market prices of factors used and products produced in alternative land uses 
(agricultural subsidies, labour-based taxes) 

- Introduce charges for intemalisation of social costliness of alternative land uses (e.g. erosion cost , 
pesticide accumulation intemalisation) 

- Install mechanisms that allow for all ranges of values to register with landholders, not only the most 
direct forms of use (e.g. land banking and compensated zoning schemes) 

Interventions at the Conservancy Level 

"Flow Monitoring"- monitoring the rate at which wildlife is being used consumptively. 
"Stock Monitoring "-monitor the stock of wildlife periodically. 

The privatisation of wildlife within Namibia has contributed to the significant increase in wildlife numbers and 
biomass (70% and 85% respectively) over the 20 year period between 1972 and 1992. There appears to have 
also been an increase of some 44% in the diversity of species. Therefore, the impact of privatisation in Namibia 
provides solid evidence of the incentives that this programme has created for the conservation of wildlife. 

In Zimbabwe, a similar phenomenon to that in Namibia is occurring, with the expansion of wildlife use on 
private landholdings driven once again by the financial incentives for the use of wildlife rather than cattle. The 
contributions of the Conservancy movement at the national scale are not insignificant. The Save Valley 
Conservancy alone represents about 1% of the land area in Zimbabwe, and more importantly, it has increased 
the land dedicated to wildlife by 6%. 

These findings illustrate that financial incentives are an important keystone for building a sound land use 
policy option, while the government has an important role in correcting obvious policy and market failures. It 
is important to note that the government plays an important role in the Conservancy movement providing the 
assurance of credible monitoring and enforcement structures within private joint management regimes. It 
requires the presence of a state-licensed guide on each conservancy hunt, enabling each conservancy member 
to monitor its partners' benefit taking. It further requires an annual state monitored stock taking excercise in 
order to audit the general performance of the conservancy. 

The conservancy movement in southern Africa represents one of the most dynamic and hopeful trends in 
wildlife management currently taking place. Southern Africa is probably the only place on earth that is 
currently expanding the amount of habitat that is available to wildlife species on a significant scale. It is 
interesting that this movement is occurring in an area that has abandoned traditional wildlife management 
practices in favour of a market-based approach. Here, the forces for development are encouraging the adoption 
of more wildlife uses of land. 


D. The Role of the International Institution: Monitoring and Certifying Habitat Use 

1. Most of the conservation value of the sustainable use of a species is related to natural 
habitat, not the species in isolation. There is little conservation value from "captive 
breeding" of wildlife itself. 

2. Certification should be used to induce investments in stocks of species in particular 
habitats, and hence "sustainability" should have, as its primary criterion, the maintenance 
of stocks in designated habitats. 

3. Sustainable use must be based on some agreed indicator of stocks in the wild, by 
including: surveys, population analysis and flow analysis. 

The Papua New Guinea Crocodile Case Study illustrates these points. In that country, and others, 
large crocodile farms have been established as a means of supplying the trade in reptile skins. There 
is little conservation value in the establishment of captive breeding operations, as it merely translates 
what was once wildlife into the domesticated sphere. The conservation value of wildlife use is in 
the creation of an instrument by which the investment in the retention of natural habitats may be 
compensated. Crocodile farms in PNG satisfy this criterion by means of their dependence on wild 
breeding stock: that is, the crocodile farms operate as "ranches" in the sense that they procure much 
of their required inputs (eggs, young crocodiles) from the wild. 

Incentives for sustainable use at the individual level may be induced by means of certification 
programmes that afford certified producers special access to markets; the crocodile is once again a 
good case study. Many of the populations of crocodile were initially listed on Appendix I of 
CITES on account of their endangerment, and this denied lucrative markets to most traders. Some 
populations of crocodile have been "downlisted" (allowed into trade) under exemptions granted for 
demonstrably sustainable ranching of wildlife. On account of this exemption, there is an incentive 
for the traders to demonstrate that their use is not harming crocodile populations, in order to keep 
their businesses intact. This incentive has resulted in the creation of a management programme to 
restrict the harvesting activities of individuals supplying them. Traders have even paid for the 
monitoring effort which certifies that stocks of crocodiles in the affected habitat remain relatively 
stable. These management activites are all induced by reason of the CITES certification mechanism 
which promises a market to those regimes which demonstrate management activities. 

One of the most difficult facets of the certification process is the establishment of a criterion for 
sustainability that can be monitored. The first-best criterion is one which demonstrates that a 
management regime is able to set a stock target and then achieve it; second-best is a demonstration 
that populations do not decrease significantly. Such criteria need to be fully specified. Actual 
population trends are virtually impossible to measure for most species; in most cases, some sort of 
indicator must be substituted. In the case of PNG crocodiles, an aerial survey is conducted of 
nesting sites and, from this information; a rough trend regarding adult crocodile populations trends 
is obtained. 


D. The Crocodile Industry in Papua New Guinea. 

Map 4. Distribution of C. porosus and C. novaeguineae in 
Papua New Guinea 


1 1 Distribution of C. porosus 


1 i Distribution ol C. novaeguineae 

There are two species of crocodiles occurring 
in PNG, the endemic freshwater crocodile, 
Crocodylus novaeguineae and the saltwater 
crocodile, Crocodylus porosus. Their habitat 
extends through most of the lowlands of the 
main PNG landmass, and C. porosus is 
believed to be the only species in the offshore 
islands (see Map 4). Prior to European 
contact, in the areas where crocodiles were 
plentiful the native people hunted them for 
food, with the eggs and younger population 
most heavily used. Commercial shooting of 
crocodiles in PNG started in the mid 1950s, 
in particular, uncontrolled shooting of 
saltwater crocodiles from upwards of 150 cm 
in length, which over the period 1955-60 
greatly reduced the adult population. This 
decline in saltwater crocodiles was soon 
followed by increased hunting of the less 
valuable freshwater crocodiles (see Figure 3). 

By the mid-1960s, the industry showed clear 
signs of over-exploitation of both crocodile 
species. Hunters targeted the remaining large 
breeding stock, greatly affecting the regeneration potential of the species. Besides, poor international 

marketing meant low prices throughout the industrial chain. 

It was believed that effective direct control of the hunters would be impossible to achieve, given the extreme 
isolation of many rural communities. Instead, control over the intermediate stages of industry, traders and 
exporters, was expected to affect hunters' behaviour in a positive way. After the hunting peak of 1965-66. a 
management programme and legislation was introduced to maintain the crocodile populations and manage the 
skin trade. While other crocodile populations were listed in CITES Appendix I worldwide due to their 
endangerment, all crocodiles in PNG were retained in CITES Appendix II to allow for a managed trade. A 
licensing system for traders and exporters was introduced. 

Figure 3 .Historical data on crocodile harvests in Papua New Guinea, 1955-1993. 

H Live crocodiles 
D Wild Skins 


Since then, the management system has allowed both the hunting of wild crocodiles and a thriving trade in live 
animals. The relatively high prices offered to hunters for live animals has resulted in a very active live trade 
(see Figure 3) and hunting effort appears to have been partially diverted from large crocodiles for the skin 
market to small live animals for the farms (see below and Figure 4). These findings indicate that the existence 
of an active trade in live animals is having a positive impact on the conservation of the species, reallocating 
hunting strategies and efforts. 

Figure 4. Indicator of hunting effort for C. porosus. Higher the selectivity implies more effort is exerted on that 

cohort Excludes live trade. 

Higher targeting of large 
crocodiles in Papua 

Crocodile size expressed in belly width (cm) 

At present, crocodiles are hunted/trapped by individual village hunters with previous knowledge of prices and 
conditions, they then sell their live crocodiles and skins to registered traders. Traders, who are normally 
members of the community, are permitted to operate only within a certain area, which creates an incentive to 
maintain specific populations. This contrasts sharply with the unregulated market where itinerant traders have 
little conservation interest. 

In order to improve the marketing conditions for hunters, the government established the Skin Marketing 
Service (SMS), to assist local hunters internally and the PNG industry externally. The first objective was 
accomplished by the creation of an alternative direct marketing source, the SMS, which would buy at better 
prices than intermediaries. This simplified and made more transparent the trade structure, in preparation for a 
private system taken over by licensed traders and company buyers. The SMS also suceeded in creating the 
necessary market power for PNG exports. 

The need to maintain international certification has created incentives to monitor wild populations in order to 
demonstrate sustainability. Both large farms and the exporters of wild skins have a strong vested interest in the 
maintenance of the trade, which effectively means keeping the CITES Appendix II listing. In order to do that, 
monitoring mechanisms such as the aerial population surveys and the costs of issuing CITES permits have 
been financially supported by the industry. The interest of industry in the continuity of the monitoring and 
enforcement system is a positive outcome of use, with much needed support in times of financial difficulties for 
the government, although care must be taken to ensure the independence of the state's monitoring mechanism 
(see the Conservancy Case Study). 

The CITES Appendix II ranching resolution has provided the certification mechanism required for the creation 
of incentives for the sustainable use of some other crocodile populations; however, the dissipation of rents at 
the international level, due to overproduction of crocodilian skins worldwide, indicates the need for 
international coordination of conservation/production operations to ensure adequate production levels to 
generate revenue for conservation. International institutions need to focus on both roles: certifying 
sustainability and generating rents. 


E. The Role of the International Institution: Generating Appropriable Rents 

1. The object of an international institution must be the generation of the maximum 
appropriable rents to those production systems which are certified as sustainable. 
Management must not simply allow trade or ban it 

2. The international institution should attempt to achieve the maximum rents for the 
certified producers by: a) determining a revenue maximising aggregate quota and allocating 
it between certified producers; and b) investing in the monitoring required to ensure 
exclusive purchasing from certified producers. 

The Vicufia Case study illustrates these points. A simple ban on the use of vicuna initially provided 
the necessary management to reverse the decline of this species. However, as the species expanded 
to its carrying capacity, poaching resumed. One factor was the reluctance of local communities to 
share their lands with vicunas, which were believed to compete with domestic livestock for grazing. 
The alternative for them was simply to replace them with domesticated species. 

This pressure could be counterbalanced by some sort of management system that would cause 
vicuna production to be as lucrative as the alternative land use: llamas and alpacas. This could not 
be achieved simply by allowing the trade to resume in an unmanaged fashion; instead, a producers' 
cooperative was formed which allowed all products to flow through one channel. So long as 
consumers agree to exclusive purchase from this conduit (and enforce their agreement), the price of 
vicuna products can be controlled through restricted sales. 

International institutions need to induce consumer states to agree to provide exclusive markets 
to those regimes which are certified as sustainable. This enables the certified producers to 
receive the greatest rents from their production, and hence have the greatest incentives to 
invest, provided they form cooperatives that determine aggregate production and allocate 
quotas. The price differential that results (between that afforded the certified cooperative and 
the uncertified suppliers) will be the rents that flow to sustainable management. This price 
differential will only be maintained to the extent that consumer states agree to provide 
exclusive markets, and then monitor and enforce this agreement. 


E. Commercial Use of Vicuna 

The vicuiia (Vicugna vicugna) is one of the 
South American camelids along with the 
guanaco (Lama guanicoe). the llama (Lama 
glama) and the alpaca (Lama pacos). While 
vicuna and guanacos are wild, the llamas and 
alpacas are their domesticated counterpart, a 
process of selection that appears to have 
started between 7,000 and 6,000 years ago. 
The vicuna inhabits the Andean highlands, 
between 3,000 and 4,600 m. Its range 
currently extends over large areas of Peru 
(80,000), north of Argentina (23,000) and 
Chile (25,000), and west of Bolivia (12,000) 
(see Map 5). 

Hunted for their precious wool, which is the 
finest in the world, the vicuna was near to 
extinction by the late 1960s. With the 
European invasion, a trade in fibre was 
developed, involving the killing of the 
animal. The few attempts to regulate the use 
of vicunas up to this century failed and 
uncontrolled hunting continued until the 
species reached near extinction, with just an 
estimated 10.000 individuals left in the 1950's. 

Map 5. Distribution of Vicugna vicugna 

Vicuna wool has been long praised for its softness and fineness. Its current scarcity also adds to the high prices 
commanded by the few items traded internationally. Vicuna wool (or rather fleece) is regarded as a luxury fibre 
along with Alpaca, Angora, Cashmere, Camel hair, Mohair, Musk Ox and, Yak, which are noted for their 
fineness, scarcity, unique appearance and status. It is a very exclusive market, with production of all luxury 
fibres representing less than 3% of annual sheepwool production by weight. Vicuna is considered the finest and 
rarest of all, and its softness and colour are highly valued, commanding the highest prices. 

Conservation efforts to protect the vicuna started in Peru in 1969, with the creation of the Pampa Galeras 
National Reserve. Subsequently, range states have coordinated conservation efforts through several 

Figure 5. Total estimated vicuna population in Peri, 1965-1994. 


Vicuna agreement 

and Pampa 

Galeras created 

Custody and 
usufruct to 
communities : Ml po p . App . jx 

— O 

Some pop. moved App I 

>App II 

Cloth trials. 

No trade. 

Fibre export. 
^ O 


agreements. In 1969 the first agreement for the protection of the vicuna was signed. Peru and Bolivia signed in 
1969, with Argentina joining in 1971 and Chile in 1972. The agreement banned all international and internal 


trade in vicuna products and prohibited the export of fertile individuals to third parties. The vicuna was also 
listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES) in 1975, ratified by all range states and banning all international trade in the species. 

These coordination efforts for 
conservation at the international level 
created a strong base for cooperation 
among range states. As a result, the 
vicuna experienced an impressive 
recovery during the last 30 years, 
particularly in Peru (see Figure 5).. 
From an estimated 6,000 over the four 
range countries in 1965, the vicuna 
reached 10,000 by 1970, 101,215 in 
1983 and around 154,000 by 1992. 
However, financial and physical 
requirements to effectively protect 
those areas has not grown at the same 

Pipre J. Mtftu 


■ leftl nuita ' i ■- 31 -> '.-.i-s to* ,, ... .-.i u ou 




LoaJ connaa fl20) *■ 






JO*trf trou 


f l 0*(*pOD»«m: 



NimmI Anoaw (1) 


\ i 





2.000 tf a* f J<- 



Ciu! ulti " 











USD 6.000/ca 
USD* 000 /(v 


(*► F 





US DMO 000. 

^" a 

Repte )t« Ciriaf MsUKcai 

Studies in Chile suggest that the 

vicuna population has reached the 

carrying capacity of the habitat, given 

the existing livestock. At the regional 

level, some areas show significant 

overstocking, as in the Lauca National 

Park. As populations recovered, the 

competition over habitat with 

domestic livestock (llamas and 

alpacas) increased, being this one of 

the factors behind the increase in 

poaching. These factors made the 

involvement of the local communities essential for the long term protection of the species. One way to create 

incentives for conservation and protection of the vicuna at the local level was to reopen trade in vicuna wool, 

which can be extracted by shearing live vicunas with little impact on wild populations, and generating revenue 

for local communities. This was the philosophy behind the second vicuna agreement in 1979. 

In recent years, initiatives to reopen a legal trade in vicuna fibre have taken concrete form and Peru and Chile 
are already exporting/processing vicuna fibre for commercial purposes. In 1986, the trademark "Vicuhandes" 
was registered and some populations in Peru were downlisted to Appendix II in CITES to allow export of cloth 
made with fibre from live animals. In the last Conference of the Parties (Fort Lauderdale 1994) this was taken 
further and all Peruvian populations were downlisted to Appendix II. The downlisting was conditional on the 
trade in fibre from live vicunas. 

In Peru in 1991, legal reforms altered the status of the vicunas in communal lands, returning them to the local 
communities in usufruct and custody, thus enabling their use under state regulation. Communal Vicuna 
Committees have been created since then as a means to protect, negotiate and regulate the use of the vicuna, 
complementing state protection. The National Vicuna Breeders' Society (NBS), encompassing all regional 
associations, is the legal body representing the communities. 

Since Vicuna fibre is difficult to process given its fineness and relatively short staple length, the management 
authorities sought to create a joint venture with the industry. In order to get better prices, the NBS put out for 
tender the processing of the stock of fibre accumulated until 1993. A total of 2,000 tonnes of fibre and 200 
metres of cloth from early trials were offered. The tender was for a two year participation agreement, requiring 
the applicant to guarantee a direct processing line to the final consumer. 


The resulting agreement was very advantageous, and several funds for development and conservation were 
secured. The International Vicuna Consortium, the winning Italo-Penivian venture, gained in exchange 
exclusive use for two years of the trademark and marketing of existing stocks of fibre. Figure 6 illustrates the 
various aspects of the agreement. 

Revenues from the agreement will be channelled back to the communities through the National Vicuna 
Breeders' Society. At present, Peru's Rural communities are collecting fibre for the next tender which should 
take place in 1996. 


F. The Need for a Sustainable Use Certification Protocol 

1. The sustainable use certification should occur within the context of an international 
multilateral agreement. 

2. A protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity for the establishment of a 
sustainable use certification mechanism is necessary. 

3. The mechanism should be extended to apply to the widest range of values possible, 
including non-use values. 

As indicated in the case study on certification, there are at present a large number of formal and 
informal certification programmes. Many of these comply with many of the principles set forth 
above. Nevertheless, it is important that this plethora of programmes be replaced by a single 
multilateral mechanism for accomplishing these objectives. There are two primary reasons for 
doing so, both concerned with the establishment of the credibility of the certification mechanism. 

First, the fundamental purpose of the establishment of such a mechanism is to allow consumers to 
convey the additional value that they attach to natural habitat back to producers who sustain it. 
The only task that must be accomplished in order to attain this object is the development of a 
credible mechanism for assuring consumers of this result. A legal obligation by the consumer state 
to monitor and enforce this mechanism, together with an international auditing mechanism to 
confirm this, is the highest form of assurance that may be achieved. 

Secondly, sustainability must be assessed according to an agreed criterion, not a multitude of 
possible standards. An international authority would establish the international scientific committee 
required to agree consensus-based standards, and it could establish the international monitoring 
committee that would agree the basis for surveying with respect to those standards. 

The development of a single multilateral agency to perform these tasks would eliminate the 
wasteful replication involved in the establishment of numerous unofficial bodies doing the same 
things. All that is required is a small multilateral agency composed of a scientific committee that 
establishes the criteria for sustainability and a monitoring committee that audits the performance of 
both consumer and producer states. 

These tasks cannot be accomplished within the framework established under CITES. First, CITES 
is exclusively concerned with those species which are endangered or potentially threatened through 
commercial use; the required certification mechanism must be applicable to all the possible products 
from natural habitat utilisation, endangered or not. Secondly, the framework of CITES is directed 
to a very different purpose - the monitoring and halting of trade in endangered species; the object of 
a certification mechanism is to maximise the differential premium attainable from sustainable 
utilisation production methods. 

Finally, it is important to recognise that there are many people who value wildlife for purposes 
other than use values, and that a multilateral agency could also harness these values and channel 
them back to the range states. In this case the agency would not certify the wildlife product as 
sustainable, but would instead certify the state's commitment to provide specific habitats or 


conservation programmes as credible. In this way. individuals in consumer states could be assured 
that their donation would be channelled in the precise manner that the certification asserted. It is 
precisely the same certification process, only attached to a programme rather than a specific 


F. Certification programme and the sustainable use of forest products. 

There has been an increasing trend towards the use of markets to enhance conservation incentives at the local 
level in developing countries. A significant "green" market has evolved, with both traditional and new 
products reaching the marketplace. This growth of environmentally aware consumerism has led to a plethor of 
labels appearing in the market making doubtful claims about products as firms try to capture the "green" 
premium from consumers. A study in 1991 by WWF UK found over 600 different timber firms making 
ecolabel claims for their wood products, of which only four were willing to substantiate their marketing claims" 

NGOs have also established their own formal or informal "certification" programme. Informal ones have 
relied on the use of the NGO's reputation and use its emblem in the labels with some information on the 
product's characteristics. This has been the case in many non-timber products such as those from the 
Conservation International's Cultural Survival Enterprises, the Body Shop and Ben & Jerry's, who lack third 
party verification. 

Formal certification schemes have been created through independent bodies with set criteria to assess the 
sustainability of forest management; among these are the Rainforest Alliance's "Smart Wood" (US), Scientific 
Certification Services' "Green Cross" (US), Soil Association's "Woodmark" (UK) and the Societe General de 
Surveillance (Switzerland). Even governments, such as Indonesia, have taken measures aimed at identifying 
wood products from acceptable sources. 

The consequences of this proliferation of labels has been confusion among consumers, who cannot link a label 
to sound conservation practices. A step forward in unifying all certification programme has been the creation 
in 1993 of the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, non-profit, and non-governmental organization, 
aiming to provide consumers with reliable information about forest products and their sources. Involving 
representatives from governments. NGOs. indigenous peoples' organizations and forest industry, the FSC is 
seeking to accommodate the views of all stakeholders involved, acknowledging the need for wide support and 
recognition of it is to be credible. Previous global certification efforts by governments through organizations 
such as ITTO. where progress has been slow, have highlighted the limitations of a government approach 
ignoring the NGO and industry perspective. 

The FSC is not a certifier of forest products, but its role is to accredit, evaluate and monitor certifiers of forest 

products. Through its principles, the FSC requires certifiers to assess a wide range of criteria, from land tenure 

to indigenous peoples' and 

community rights as well as 

environmental and monitoring 

standards. A major step of the FSC 

was the inclusion of both 

temperate and tropical forest 

products, hence involving a fairer 

commitment for both developed 

and developing countries. 

Figure 7. UK surveys on the Willingness to Pay for Sustainably produced 
Tropical Timber 

WWFs study consumer's average WTP (13.6) 

/ consumers' expected WTP by 
In order to allow for national ^ 10 -'-' V^^ Milland's study average WTP (6.35) 

provisions, the FSC is encouraging 

the creation of National Working 

Groups to draft country specific 

interpretations and expansion of 

the principles. This is necessary to 

allow differences in tropical and 

temperate areas and other social 

and political conditions. Despite the apparent difficulties in establishing unified criteria, the process was eased 

by the tacit harmonisation of existing criteria. Indeed, comparative studies of the various forest sustainability 

criteria used by various NGOs and governments have shown a high degree of similarity in their objectives. 

100 % Consumers 


Key to the creation of product differentiation was the issue of product discrimination by method of production, 
explicitly prohibited by GATT. For this reason, the approach has been to certify on a voluntary basis, with no 
legal restriction on imports; hence, the system must work purely on consumer preferences. With regard to 
differentiated access to certification services by operations in the developed and developing countries, measures 
are being taken, with some previous certification systems, such as Smart Wood, explicitly non-discriminating 
on the basis of cost. 

The certification process promoted by FSC involves both forest management certification and product 
certification. The first involves the assessment of the viability of the operation at the grassroots level, while the 
product certification involves tracing the wood from source through the supply chain to the final products 
(chain-of-custody). While more expensive than alternative systems like country certification, this method 
allows for greater credibility of the label as well as a greater involvement of higher stages of industry in the 
certification process. 

To date, 40 major retailers in the UK, representing 5% of the entire UK market for wood-based products, have 
publicly committed to buy FSC-accredited certified products by the end of 1995, a trade representing some 
USD 2 billion per year. In the US, 41 wood suppliers have been certified by a third party. At grassroots level, 
19 forests have been certified, covering 4.26 million hectares and 1.2 million cubic metres per year. More than 
half of these are tropical forests. 

The real test for this encouraging response from industry and NGOs will be the consumers' real willingness to 
pay for certified wood. Studies conducted to date show that consumers are expected to pay between 5% and 
13.5%. However, retailing companies are still very much influenced in their buying decisions by price rather 
than environmental issues (see Figure 7). 

The creation of exclusive marketing channels for the low volumes produced by "sustainable harvesting" 
projects has proven to be costly, with NGOs and government often subsidising the production of these projects 
at least during the pilot phase. It has been estimated that harvesting costs could almost double by the use of 
sustainable techniques. Additionally, certification costs are as yet uncertain but substantial. Governments and 
NGOs will have to play an active role in promoting the use of certified wood in order to create this price 

In addition to the capture of consumer willingness to pay for sustainably produced timber, the establishment of 
a credible ecolabel will also allow the use of other creative mechanisms to internalise the environmental 
externalities in the forests, such as lax or revenue transfers and trade subsidies. Such mechanisms could 
encompass wider resource values other than use. 



It is the considered recommendation of this project team that the above principles be implemented 
by means of the adoption of a protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity that would certify 
sustainable use regimes in the manner described above. 

The object of the protocol would be the establishment of an agency for the following purposes: 

a) the development and implementation of a set of agreed standards on the sustainable use of 
natural habitats; 

b) the development and implementation of monitoring and auditing mechanisms that ensure that 
member states purchase exclusively those products that have been certified to meet these 
sustainable use standards. 

These objects would be accomplished by the implementation of the following tasks: 

a) the establishment of agreed criteria for sustainable use based upon stock level indicators in 
specified habitats; 

b) the establishment of procedures for assessing the attainment of certain indicator levels in 
specified habitats as against specified criteria of sustainability; 

c) the auditing of the performance of applicants for certification, and the continued auditing of the 
performance of existing certificants; 

d) the auditing of the performance of consumer states in the execution of exclusive purchasing 
agreements; and 

e) the provision of market information to certified producers regarding rent-maximising aggregate 
flows of particular wildlife products, and the monitoring of these flows. 

In order to accomplish these tasks, the international agency would consist of: 

a) a standards committee (for establishing general criteria for sustainability and the creation of 
regulations for each sub-agency); 

b) a habitat monitoring sub-agency (responsible for implementing surveys of stock levels and 
testing for attainment of the criteria set for sustainability); 

c) an international auditing sub-agency (responsible for annual and random auditing of the 
performance of producers and consumers in terms of flows between them); and 

d) a market analysis sub-agency (responsible for providing rent maximisation analysis and advice to 
producers to aid and enhance their cooperation). 


In order to reach these decisions, the standards committee would be: 

a) a small representative body elected by the member states to the convention; 

b) a democratic body rendering decisions and regulations by majority vote. 








Vtit Woilif Coniir.ji.on Union 




World Conservation Monitoring Centre 

219 Huntingdon Road 

Cambridge CB3 ODL 

United Kingdom 

Telephone: +44 1223 277314 

Fax: +44 1223 277136 

, P ♦ The World Conservation Monitoring Centre is a joint-venture between the three 

k^^ partners who developed the World Consen'ation Strategy and its successor Caring 

^ff for the Earth: IUCN-The World Conservation Union, UNEP-United Nations 

WWF Environment Programme, and WWF- World Wide Fund for Nature.