Advancing Marginalized Actors and Enhancing Regulatory Quality
Edited by Stepan Wood, Rebecca Schmidt, Errol Meidinger, Burkard Eberlein and Kenneth W. Abbott
Chapter 10: Can non-state regulatory authority improve domestic forest sustainability? Assessing interactive pathways of influence in Cameroon
Transnational business governance (TBG) can involve the use of non-state mechanisms to target the behavior of firms within domestic settings. Drawing on the implementation pillar of the transnational business governance interactions (TBGIs) framework, this chapter focuses attention on the interaction between state and non-state regulatory authority from two leading cases of TBG in tropical forest management: climate mitigation through avoided deforestation (REDD+) and timber legality verification (FLEGT/VPA). A dominant justification for both interventions is that empowering marginalized domestic groups through technology transfer and capacity building will lead to more durable policy solutions on the ground. Drawing on empirical evidence in Cameroon, the chapter argues that contrary to these justifications, REDD+ and FLEGT/VPA at best may not succeed in addressing the underlying power structures, and at worst have unintended and possibly adverse consequences on marginalized actors in Cameroon. This is largely because the policy mechanisms were generally conceived prior to, and independent of, their application in particular domestic settings, often making them ill-suited to the unique circumstances of the forest sectors in which they operate. The chapter concludes by providing insights as to how these policies may be designed to improve their durability.
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