The Chilean National System for Firewood Certification (SNCL) has extended the model of forest certification to firewood, the principal fuel of the region. Firewood is the main product of Chile's deteriorating native forests and the primary cause of air pollution in the cities where it is used. The SNCL seeks both to improve these conditions and to increase equity for producers and consumers by reforming their relations with dealers in the informal firewood market. The SNCL is an experiment in broadening the application of forest certification in terms of scale, product, and the economic power of the actors, since firewood is an everyday necessity for all socioeconomic classes. This paper examines equity issues in firewood certification in Chile in the light of other forest certification programs. Mainstreaming, an emphasis on increasing the volume of certified wood sold rather than on the inclusion of small-scale actors, and formalization of the market have shifted governance of the firewood commodity chain toward greater power for larger producers and retailers and, as it turns out, the state. This raises questions of equity for intermediaries and consumers as well as producers, as all are relatively weak actors in the market.

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