Global Climate Governance to Enhance Biodiversity & Well-Being: Integrating Non-State Networks and Public International Law in Tropical Forests

70 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010 Last revised: 26 Feb 2014

Date Written: October 12, 2010


Environmental governance frequently represents a leading edge of global regulation. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the climate regime, which has continued to create new modes of regulation despite negotiation impasse. Yet, these new initiatives, like existing legal approaches to environmental challenges, too often embrace a fragmented view of issue areas and fail to reflect fundamental connections between the objects of regulation. Climate regime regulatory innovation also appears to be increasingly limited by the shortcomings of a purely state-driven international approach to global environmental governance, which has long been obvious in other areas (most prominently, the tropical forest context). Private networks play an increasingly important role in global environmental governance, as illustrated most directly by forest certification that was developed to fill a gap left by forest-related negotiation failures of the 1990s. These prior forest negotiation failures also laid the groundwork for tropical forests to become an object of climate regime regulation, giving rise to one of the most promising programs for developing issue-linkage in global environmental governance. The reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) program holds out the promise of not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the forest sector, but also promoting public goods associated with biodiversity and human well-being. Despite its promise, REDD remains incompletely formed and fragile. Moreover, it faces the prospect of suffering from an issue-fragmentation that values forests only for their carbon and restricting itself through purely state-based administration. In response to this concern and the need for greater recognition of issue-linkages in designing global environmental regulation generally, this Article proposes a hybrid public-private governance approach to REDD that can encourage maximum emissions reductions while also effectively promoting a broad array of benefits for biodiversity and human well-being. In so doing, the Article also offers a concomitant and generalizable model for combining private market finance and public funding to increase the coherence and effectiveness of global environmental regulation.

Keywords: climate change, biodiversity, forests, well-being, certification, REDD

JEL Classification: K32, K33, K11, K23

Suggested Citation

Long, Andrew, Global Climate Governance to Enhance Biodiversity & Well-Being: Integrating Non-State Networks and Public International Law in Tropical Forests (October 12, 2010). Environmental Law, Vol. 41, No. 1, p. 95, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Andrew Long (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Portland, OR
United States
904-253-9957 (Phone)

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