An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FACE Foundation makes misleading claims about FSCTags: Uganda, Misleading claims, Carbon offsets, SGS Qualifor

The FACE Foundation, a Dutch carbon offset company, claims on its website that its tree planting projects at Mount Elgon and Kibale national parks in Uganda are both certified by FSC. While Mount Elgon is FSC certified (despite major, ongoing land disptues), the FACE Foundation's project at Kibale is no longer FSC certified.

"The projects in Uganda meet the conditions of well managed forest and are certified according to the guidelines of Forest Stewardship Council," states the FACE Foundation's website.

Here's a screenshot of the FACE Foundation's website. The screenshot was taken on 26 March 2008 - I've just checked and FACE Foundation's website still claims that both its Uganda projects are FSC certified. (Click on the image for a larger view.)


And here's a screenshot of FSC's list of "Certified Forests", dated 10 January 2008 - no sign of Kibale on the list (click on the image for a larger view):


The FACE Foundation is, of course, fully aware that its project at Kibale is not FSC certified. In the information about Mount Elgon on the same webpage, there is a link to SGS's Public Summary of its 2007 reassessment at Mount Elgon. In the information about Kibale, there is no similar link. When a certificate is suspended, the Public Summary is no longer public. No information is available on FSC's, ASI's or SGS's website about why the certificate has been suspended at Kibale.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda is responsible for managing Uganda's national parks. Since Mount Elgon is the only one of Uganda's national parks currently FSC certified, FSC could (but probably won't) decide that the statement on UWA's website is grossly misleading: "UWA adheres to the forest management practices consistent with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Principles and Criteria in managing these forests to ensure that benefits accruing from the conservation of these areas are generously shared with neighbouring local communities."


FSC-watch looks forward to reporting on what action FSC takes to correct FACE Foundation's and UWA's misleading claims about FSC certification.


On 13 June 2008, I asked SGS Qualifor to explain "why the re-assessment of UWA Face Foundation - Kibale National Park (SGS-FM/COC-0979) is not available on the SGS website and that Kibale is currently not listed as certified on the FSC website."

On 18 June 2008, Ivan Muir, Certification Manager at SGS sent me the following response, "The Kibale report has been submitted for certification approval, and I will let you know when this is approved and the certificate issued."

On 7 July 2008 (the same day as the start of SGS's first surveillance of the certificates at Mount Elgon and Kibale National Parks), SGS's Ivan Muir sent the following message to FSC-Watch:

Dear Chris

The report for Kibale has been approved and is available on the SGS website.


Ivan Muir
SSC Forestry
Natural Resource Certification Manager: Africa
SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd

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