Abstract: Based on theoretical underpinnings and an empirical review of forest laws and regulations of selected countries throughout the Americas, we examine key components of natural forest management and how they are addressed in the legal frameworks of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the U.S. We consider forest policy directives in terms of legislative, planning, operational, environmental/ecological, social, and economic aspects and classify them by the type of policy obligation: (1) non-discretionary laws or rules; or (2) discretionary, voluntary directives; and, further, by the type of policy approach: (1) a specific technology or practice required or recommended; (2) a process or system requirement or recommendation; or (3) a performance or outcome based requirement or recommendation. Protection of at-risk species and riparian buffers are required in all countries and include specific prescriptions in most; forest management planning and secure, legal land title or tenancy are commonly required; and mandatory processes to protect soil and water quality are customary. Less common requirements include forest monitoring and social and economic aspects, and, when in place, they are usually voluntary. Implications for improved policies to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM) are discussed.
Keywords: forest regulation; sustainable forest management policy; Latin America; North America
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McGinley, K.; Alvarado, R.; Cubbage, F.; Diaz, D.; Donoso, P.J.; Jacovine, L.A.G.; de Silva, F.L.; MacIntyre, C.; Zalazar, E.M. Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation. Forests 2012, 3, 467-505.
McGinley K, Alvarado R, Cubbage F, Diaz D, Donoso PJ, Jacovine LAG, de Silva FL, MacIntyre C, Zalazar EM. Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation. Forests. 2012; 3(3):467-505.
McGinley, Kathleen; Alvarado, Raquel; Cubbage, Frederick; Diaz, Diana; Donoso, Pablo J.; Jacovine, Laércio Antônio Gonçalves; de Silva, Fabiano Luiz; MacIntyre, Charles; Zalazar, Elizabeth Monges. 2012. "Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation." Forests 3, no. 3: 467-505.