31.1. Towards International Norms of Sustainable Forest Management

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of environmental law
Doctoral candidate: LL.B. Samuel Assembe-Mvondo
Time and venue 31.1.2011 at 12 noon, C2, Carelia, Joensuu Campus

Sustainable forest resource management is one of the key themes of global debates on environmental protection. These resources have essential ecological functions, are important for socioeconomic and cultural reasons, and have a crucial role in the climate balance and global warming. However, the general awareness of the multiple functions of forests overlaps an increase in actions that endanger what is considered to be part of the ‘Worlds Heritage’. To curb continuous deforestation and forest degradation, the international community has for nearly twenty years been trying, without much success, to set international standards for sustainable forest management. The failure of international negotiations to adopt a multilateral convention on sustainable forest management means that an alternative must be found to break the current stalemate.

In the study, a thorough examination of various laws and actions of actors in international law, for example, Central African States, the European Union, Central America, claiming to promote sustainable forest management and protection, was done. The results demonstrate the existence of material and psychological aspects that shape customary international law (CIL). This phenomenon therefore relates to the general sustainable forest management practices of States and to the emergence of customary international standards for sustainable forest management. However, the general practices of States and the international standards for sustainable forest management under development do not seem to be quite coherent and fixed. The reason is partly that CIL is an informal process of building international standards and rules derived from various national laws and actions. By observing the work of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) or international negotiations on the REDD+ regime on climate change, it is possible to get a preview of the codification of international sustainable forest management norms.

The doctoral dissertation of LL.B. Samuel Assembe-Mvondo, entitled Towards International Norms of Sustainable Forest Management: A Review of State Practice from the Regional to the Global Level, will be examined at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Timo Koivurova of the University of Lapland, and the custos will be Professor Tuomas Kuokkanen of the University of Eastern Finland.

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Publishing year: 2011

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