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Forests are central to international security, peace, and justice, as they provide livelihoods for millions of impoverished people in developing countries. Threat's to the world's forests may result in a reduction in basic livelihood resources and will have significant consequences on a global scale. There is no existing international treaty on the protection of forests, with the result that their international protection is governed by disparate areas of international law and smaller-scale local initiatives. In this context, this book reviews the history of international law on forests, evaluating the effectiveness of the existing international legal framework to protect them.
The book investigates the impact of the initiatives which have emerged in the absence of a dedicated international agreement, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and forest certification, which are assessed in the wider context of the development of international environmental law. It also considers the role of regional forest agreements in the international protection of forests. It assesses the challenges to the effectiveness of international law governing forests, in particular the disparate nature of the law as it stands, and posits that the solution can be found in existing regional agreements. It argues that a more specific international treaty, consistent with the recent decisions of international courts on environmental protection and building on the experience of regional legal instruments, may offer an effective path forward.