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Header image Ecologic

Trading Away the Last Ancient Forests


Tarasofsky, Richard G.; Stefanie Pfahl 2001: Trading Away the Last Ancient Forests. The threats to forests from trade liberalisation under the WTO. Hamburg.

Stefanie Pfahl

with contributions from: Steven Shrybman und Hedwig Friedrich

90 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

Glossary of terms
Foreword by Greenpeace
1 Executive Summary
1.1 Findings
1.2 Main recommendations
2 Introduction to the post-Doha edition of this study
3 How current WTO measures affect forests
3.1 WTO impedes efforts to control trade related deforestation and forest degradation
3.1.1 WTO rules may undermine Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) that protect forests
3.1.2 The WTO "chills" the full development of rules on forest conservation
3.1.3 The WTO restricts a country's ability to take trade measures to counter massive forest destruction in another country
3.1.4 WTO rules restrict export bans on raw logs
3.1.5 WTO rules may not permit independent voluntary forest certification
3.1.6 WTO rules do not fully support a precautionary approach to protecting forests, in particular ancient forests
3.1.7 WTO rules restrict full protection of traditional forest-related knowledge
3.1.8 WTO rules may hinder measures aimed at tackling illegal logging
3.2 WTO does not support trade policy aimed at achieving sustainable forest management (SFM)
3.2.1 WTO rules do not allow for granting preferential trade treatment for products coming from sustainably managed sources
3.2.2 WTO no longer permits subsidies aimed at  adjusting to new environmental regulations
3.2.3 The WTO is not a transparent institution - the voices of all affected stakeholders are not heard in decision-making
3.2.4 The WTO operating culture does not support developing country interests and thereby prevents consensus on environmental issues
4 The impact on forests of measures currently being proposed for inclusion in the WTO
4.1 Tariff reduction in the forest sector
4.2 Reduction of non-tariff measures (NTMs)
4.3 Agriculture liberalisation
4.4 Investment liberalisation
4.4.1 The NAFTA experience
4.5 Services liberalisation
5 What the WTO and its members should be focusing on instead
6 What other international institutions should be doing to ensure that trade supports sustainable forest management
6.1 Multilateral Environmental Agreements should exercise full control over the trade-related aspects of their mandates
6.1.1 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
6.1.2 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
6.1.3 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
6.2 UN Forum on Forests (UNFF)
7 Recommendations
Selected bibliography
Annex: Selected links