The International Tropical Timber Agreements of 1983 and 1994: An Assessment on Treaty Effectiveness
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In the anarchical structure of international politics, relative treaty effectiveness has proven to be a difficult task to accomplish concerning environmental issues. Not only do the authors of these agreements face the challenge of negotiating a functional structure of rules and regulations amongst diversified interests, but they are also confronted with the undertakings of implementation and compliance. As each environmental issue varies in scope and urgency, the number of actors, the kinds of obligations, the type of monitoring, and their related responses fluctuate according to the distinct individual situation. Because of this oscillation, evaluating the overall effectiveness of these environmental treaties proves to be extremely complicated, as no two treaties are the same. Theory on successful regimes, thus, can only be achieved through the comparison of different agreements with similar treaty mechanisms. Through this type of analysis, political scientists hope to develop an increasingly comprehensive model for treaty effectiveness pertaining to environmental issues. The International Tropical Timber Agreements of 1983 and 1994 were established with the hopes of lowering the deforestation rate of tropical timber without encumbering the market growth of developing member nations. This objective would be achieved through forest conservation and management efforts that would produce a growing market of timber from sustainably managed sources. After careful examination of these two treaties, one can conclude that the 1983 and 1994 Tropical Timber Agreements were both effective in altering m(,nber state behavior in the pursuance of decreased deforestation levels and increased sustainability in timber products. While the increased market transparency promoted in both agreements was successful in reducing member exports of tropical timber, the Bali Fund, established in the successor agreement, 1 encouraged the increased exportation of resources from only sustainably managed resources by the year 2000 through enhanced financial assistance. Together, the two International Tropical Timber Agreements gave consuming and producing parties strong incentive to decrease the rate of tropical timber deforestation.
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