Deforestation-free Trade
Preparatory workshop for a special issue of the journal Ecological Economics
Value chain governance
Global due diligence
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June 22, 2022
13:00h – 17:00h CET (UTC +1)


Online, Worldwide



Deforestation-free Trade

Preparatory workshop for a special issue of the journal Ecological Economics


Intensification of deforestation in tropical countries associated with commodities exports has spurred recent high-level commitments and agreements among governments and firms. These attempts of governance innovations show a current interest, particularly in high-income countries, in achieving deforestation-free flows. For instance, in November 2021, the European Commission launched a proposal for a regulation to attain deforestation-free products, which aims to end deforestation and forest degradation associated with international supply chains of key agricultural commodities consumed in Europe. In addition, there is currently a bill under discussion in the U.S. Congress (the U.S. Forest Act) that, if approved, will hold international suppliers of commodities to the American market accountable for illegal deforestation in the places where plantations are located. International trade of commodities associated with deforestation risks is of course shaped to a large extent by financial flows. In the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, in 2021, leaders of 141 countries signed a declaration on forest and land use, committing, among other things, to “facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation” by 2030. Also in the Glasgow COP26, over 30 financial institutions, representing assets over US $ 4.5 trillion, committed to eliminating deforestation driven by production and exports of agricultural commodities from their investment and lending portfolios by 2025.

These new initiatives aiming to contribute to halting deforestation associated with international trade share some governance principles, like (a) making financial organizations and transnational corporations accountable for deforestation associated with their businesses, and (b) acknowledging that strategies to address forest loss and degradation require international coordination between governments, trading financial firms and civil society. They assume therefore that national legislations and enforcement mechanisms are not enough to achieve deforestation reduction goals. The configuration of such complex global coordination needs to create and put in place innovative governance settings and tools, which should include a combination of public regulation and private standards conditioning the socio-environmental performance of international supply chains. Filling this governance gap will definitively face significant challenges, along different dimensions.

On the one hand, governance innovations impacting global value chains of commodities that have historically driven deforestation might create new opportunities for effectively slowing down the expansion of the agricultural or extraction frontiers into forested and vulnerable landscapes, protected areas or indigenous lands. On the other hand, a number of unintended effects might arise, such as the exclusion of agricultural smallholders unable to comply with costly administrative requirements imposed by powerful players or leakage effects (shift of exports to importing countries with less stringent regulations).

Furthermore, political contestation might arise, based on the argument that new regulatory standards at the value chain level might actually disguise trade protectionism from rich countries, or be the new expression of green imperialism. This special issue is expected to address the diverse implications and impacts of emerging governance regimes of value chains aiming to ensure the production and international trade of deforestation-free (agricultural or mineral) commodities.


We call potential contributors with theoretical or empirical studies to submit their abstracts.

Thematic scope of the special issue:

  • Legal approaches with regards to the intersection between changes in the regulatory framework of international trade (such as due diligence rules in importing countries), forest governance and land-use practices driving biodiversity loss and social exclusion in tropical countries
  • The relationship between trade flows, market dynamics and actors’ agency and networks, with emphasis on the implications for deforestation and land appropriation and accumulation
  • Analysis of conflicts at different levels in relation to the expansion of commodity frontiers
  • Socio-environmental implications, impacts, and challenges in biodiversity-rich countries of emerging international governance regimes of supply chains
  • Historical trends on the relationship between regulations, the dynamics of commodity frontiers, international demand for deforestation-prone commodities and international trade flows

Aim of the workshop

The objectives of the workshop are (a ) to share information and results of the research of the contributors; (b) to define more clearly and fine-tune the scope of the special issue; (c) to plan jointly the following steps until the completion of the special issue.

Important Dates

22nd of April 2022

Submission of abstracts

22nd of April 2022
28th of April 2022

Registration opens

28th of April 2022
29th of April 2022

Acceptance for participation in the online workshop

29th of April 2022
30th April -28th May

Period for sending the pre-recorded presentations (videos)

30th April -28th May
22th of June 2022

Online workshop

22th of June 2022
29th of July 2022

Submission of first versions for internal review

29th of July 2022
29th November 2022

Deadline for submission of revised versions to the journal

29th November 2022



Please submit your abstract (max. 500 words) by email before the 22nd of April 2022 to Roldan Muradian at  and Peter May at


As part of the publication process of the special issue, we will organize a virtual workshop. We request authors of accepted contributions to prepare, record, and submit a video presentation no longer than 15 minutes. The primary purpose of the presentation is to summarize the objectives, methods, results, and research implications to share them with the other contributors. The deadline for video submissions is May 28, 2022.

We will upload the submitted video presentations and make them available seven days before the event on the workshop’s website. We request all the participants to watch the pre-recorded videos in advance to facilitate the discussions and tasks during the workshop. 

For tips on how to record a video presentation, follow this link.

The International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) supports this workshop’s organization, including covering the cost of setting up the website and the required technical assistance. To cover part of the organizational costs, we require all contributors to be ISEE members before registering for the workshop. The registration itself is free of charge. 

Description of the Workshop

“Deforestation-free trade: Global governance challenges and socio-environmental implications in producing countries”

The workshop will take place on the 22nd of June 2022, from 13h to 17h CET.

Objective: The goals of the workshop are to exchange ideas, to better tune the scope, content, and approach of the special issue, and to plan the activities to be completed until the end of the publication project.

Setup: We will request the authors of the selected abstracts to record a 15 minutes presentation. The editors will also record a keynote presentation to frame and explain the special issue. We will upload these presentations to the platform before the workshop. Participants will be requested to watch the videos in advance. The online workshop will last 4 hours and consist of a single joint session (no separation into sub-groups will be done). The editors of the special issue will moderate the session. After an introduction, the editors summarize the contributions and propose a tentative classification into groups defined by approaches and subjects. Pre-selected commentators (from the list of contributors) will be asked to prepare and give brief comments about several presentations (5-6) to encourage an exchange of opinions and ideas. Therefore, the workshop will include a session of comments and a free exchange of ideas. After that, we will fine-tune the scope of the special issue and jointly plan the next steps.

Expected number of participants: 40   

Expected number of pre-recorded presentations: 28 (27 presentations of 15 min by the contributors and one presentation from the editors).  


CET UTC+1Wednesday June 22, 2022
1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Introduction. Editors of the special issue
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Summary and classification of contributions. Editors of the special issue
2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Exchange of ideas. How to improve the contributions. Commentators
3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Fine-tuning the scope of the SI. The whole group.
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Planning next activities. The whole group

Attendance Cost

ISEE membership is required. Please follow this link to view membership benefits and rates. Attendance is free for members of the ISEE. 


Hosting Institution

Contact Us

For questions about the workshop, please send an email to Roldan Muradian or Peter May

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