The Forest Policies of ASEAN and Montréal Process: Comparing Highly and Weakly Formalized Regional Regimes

Jeon, Kumar Sarker, Giessen
2019 Forests  
Forests are governed by a combination of sub-national and national as well as global and regional regimes. Comparing the institutional variation of regional regimes, including their degrees of formalization, is gaining attention of studies on regionalism in International Relations. This study attempts to analyse the ways in which the selected cases of the forest-related Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and forest-focused Montréal Process (MP) regional regimes may have synergetic
more » ... y have synergetic overlaps or disparity in their institutional design and forest policy development. For this, we combined IR's 'rational institutional design' theory and a policy analysis approach. Using a qualitative data approach, we analyzed key structure-related historical regime documents (e.g., charters) issued since the inception of both regimes, and their latest forest policy initiatives for the periods 2016–2025 (Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Forestry) and 2009–2015 (Conceptual Framework for the Montréal Process Strategic Action Plan) with all relevant policy documents since the adoption of current policies. Based on that, we pose the empirical questions of how both regimes illustrate governance structure (i.e., institutional design), and on the other hand how to explain regime forest policies coherently and consistently in terms of their high versus low degree of formality. The results show that institutional design is highly explanatory based on treaty and non-treaty regime formation as well as forest-related/focused regime formation with the synergistic sustainable forest management (SFM) issue that embraces deforestation and forest degradation, biodiversity, timber certification, and greenhouse gas emission. Additionally, the results suggest that the policy goals adopted by both regimes are coherent and consistent based on the full set of policy elements. Concerning the remedy for fragmented global forest governance arrangements, both regimes would be an example of practicing SFM-focused policies with the incorporation of forest-related policy elements into a larger governance assemblage dealing with issues such as biodiversity conservation or climate change mitigation.
doi:10.3390/f10100929 fatcat:7g43ornhy5fhfa3efxgpkcucq4