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

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 353-365, October 2009

Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Blake Hudson

Blake Hudson

University of Florida College of Law

Erika Weinthal

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

Both international forest and climate negotiations have failed to produce a legally binding treaty that addresses forest management activities - either comprehensively or more narrowly through carbon capture - due, in part, to lack of US leadership. Though US cooperation is crucial for facilitating both forest and climate negotiations, the role of federalism in constraining these trends has been given scant attention. 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.

Keywords: Federalism, Forests, Treaty, Constitution, Global Governance

Suggested Citation

Hudson, Blake and Weinthal, Erika, Seeing the Global Forest for the Trees: How US Federalism Can Coexist with Global Governance of Forests (October 1, 2009). Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 353-365, October 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1577462

Blake Hudson (Contact Author)

University of Florida College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ufl.edu/faculty/blake-hudson

Erika Weinthal

Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States

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