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Forests 2017, 8(12), 502; doi:10.3390/f8120502

Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain

1
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETS Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Ciudad Universitaria, s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Basque Centre for Climate Change—BC3, Building 1, 1st floor, Scientific Campus, University of the Basque Country, Barrio Sarriena, s/n, 48940 Leioa, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification)
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Abstract

Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates how key stakeholders relate certification to sustainability, and its implications for forest management. A survey was implemented in the eucalyptus plantations of Galicia, northwestern Spain, to assess how forest managers; advisors; environmental organizations; researchers; and members from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification), and forest companies and associations, perceive this relationship. The opinions indicate that it should not be assumed that certified plantations are necessarily perceived as the most sustainable ones, that there is always a direct relationship between certification, nor that forest owners and managers certify their woodlands in order to guarantee sustainability. The results also showed that perceptions of certification and sustainability were not influenced by the opinions of different groups of stakeholders. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest certification; Eucalyptus plantations; stakeholders; forest sustainability forest certification; Eucalyptus plantations; stakeholders; forest sustainability
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Diaz-Balteiro, L.; Jalón, S.G. Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain. Forests 2017, 8, 502.

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