This study was undertaken to provide a critical assessment of international forest certification standards, including the perspective of industry on the future development of certification. LTS conducted market research to examine the views of the forest products industry, environmental NGOs, independent observers, retailers and certification organisations. A critical assessment was made of current certification standards and the future of certification.
The project assisted the Ministry of Agriculture/Department of Forestry by implementing a newly drafted forest policy in line with EU guidelines and ongoing European Forest Policy processes. Targeting the development of private forestry and promotion of the wood sector, LTS provided short-term inputs to establish the support and regulatory framework. This included harmonising regulations and standards for cultivation and marketing and drafting a national land-use strategy for rural and regional development. The project identified appropriate incentives to stimulate private afforestation and reforestation and propose an institutional system for certifying of forest propagation material.
The project aimed to develop a long term competitive advantage for the Latvian forest based industries with full utilisation of the forest resources that have recognised sustainable management that is increasing in volume and quality. LTS developed a concept of long term vision within a competitive market, including the identification of key issues within the cluster development that is important to the long-term development of a competitive forest cluster. The assignment also high-lighted and demonstrated the importance of a long term vision for industrial sectors and how the administration can support the development and integration with focused investment and support.