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Analyzing forest policy mixes based on the coherence of policies and the consistency of legislative policy instruments: A case study from Ecuador

Pradip Kumar Sarker, Richard Fischer, Fabian Tamayo, Bolier Torres Navarrete and Sven Günter

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 144, issue C

Abstract: Due to widespread over-exploitation, tropical forests became a priority issue on the political agenda in the 1990s. Policy frameworks incorporating forest aspects in different policy sectors and building on existing structures have been implemented in many tropical countries. This poses challenges to policy design, including the consistency of policy instruments and policy instrument mixes. Such instruments need to be coherently integrated across various policy domains affecting forests. The Ecuadorian government has been striving for improved policy design by adjusting the policies and policy instruments over time, considering the multifunctionality of forests and the maintenance of the related ecosystem services. This study aims to amend methodologies of existing policy analysis in tropical forestry, taking into account the increasing complexity of the forest policy domain and applying this in a case study in Ecuador. We present an approach that links overarching sectoral policies with policy instruments and considers structures (mainly objectives and contents of the policy mix), actors and their interactions. The work is based on two empirical components: a qualitative content analysis of policy documents, and key informant interviews. Results for the case of Ecuador show a formally largely coherent and consistent forest policy framework. Challenges are mainly related to institutional responsibilities. The stakeholder perceptions deviate from the results of the content analysis. These deviations are interpreted as being based on specific values and beliefs. We conclude that policy development and design need to take into account these stakeholder perceptions. Based on the key informant interviews, we also highlight challenges, provide recommendations for specific thematic policy areas in Ecuador, and conclude that a specific focus needs to be kept on implementation.

Keywords: Forest policy mixes; Coherent policy goals; Consistent policy instruments; Ecuador (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:forpol:v:144:y:2022:i:c:s1389934122001514

DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102838

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