Committed and held accountable? Exploring accountability relations of state, business and civil society organisations in multi-level forest governance
In recent times, states and business have made major commitments related to forests to move away from unsustainable business-as-usual pathways. Yet, so far rhetoric still dominates: large scale international investments in tropical deforestation continue, EU bioeconomy strategies seem to be at odds with climate goals and measurable outcomes in terms of avoided emissions are lacking, signaling problems with current governance responses and ineffectiveness of voluntary commitments. Arguably, success in achieving such commitments will depend on robust accountability structures. It is assumed that a number of enabling conditions can enhance transparency and lead to desired transformational change away from unsustainable business-as-usual practices and their underlying power relations, including: i) new information (e.g. analyses of historical environmental footprints, emission displacement and leakage), made possible by ii) new technologies (e.g. remote sensing), and iii) new coalitions between different members of civil society. This session aims to examine the role of politics and power relations and its effects on accountability structures in forest governance. We call for papers that investigate enabling (and hindering) conditions for accountability in meeting climate and development commitments, and provide lessons for improved forest and land use governance.