Seeing the Global Forest for the Trees: How US Federalism can Coexist with Global Governance of Forests

By Blake Hudson & Erika Weinthal

We argue that, as embodied in the US Constitution, federalism complicates the US's role in creating any legally binding treaty that directly regulates land uses (e.g. forest management). Because federalism reserves primary land use regulatory authority for state governments, voluntary, market-based mechanisms, like REDD and forest certification, should be included within any binding treaty aimed at forest management, in order to facilitate US participation.

Published in the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Volume 1, Issue 4, October 2009, pages 353-365

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