Greenpeace has released a new report detailing major problems and non-compliances in FSC certifications in Sweden.
Stockholm, Thursday 5 March 2009 - Swedish timber with the certification label FSC might come from high conservation value forests that should have been left protected, a new Greenpeace report reveals.
Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, is an international organization certifying forestry and wood products, such as paper and furniture. The FSC label should guarantee that the forest companies' timber and other products derive from forestry with high environmental standards.
FSC in Sweden has several serious problems. On the one hand, many FSC certified forest companies are violating the current Swedish FSC rules, and on the other hand FSC fails to follow up on companies violating the rules. If not explicit sanctions are imposed on these companies FSC Sweden will loose it´s credibility, says Amanda Tas.
The new Greenpeace report "Under the cover of forest certification - How the Forest Stewardship Council has failed to prevent the destruction of high conservation value forests in Sweden" reveals the web of complicity between the FSC, which has failed to ensure that adequate standards are used in Sweden, companies that are knowingly destroying threatened high conservation value forests (HCVFs) and certifying bodies which are not acting responsibly to guide companies towards the correct standards of practice and identifies several recommendations need urgent uptake to prevent Sweden's last remaining HCVFs from being logged.
Just recently, on 20th February, FSC Sweden announced that its board has agreed on a revised Swedish FSC standard, which includes safeguards of HCVFs. After circulation for comments and approval from FSC International, the standard is estimated to be implemented later this year. This is a good step forward but improved practices are needed on-the-ground to help improve the quality of FSC certificates in Sweden. Swedish logging operators still fail to follow the rules in the current FSC standard (the standard should have been revised 5 years ago according to FSC rules).
The report findings is based on a documentation of 30 different forest areas planned to be logged and three areas logged under FSC certification in Norrbotten and Jämtland. For example, forest companies had felled trees with high biodiversity values, logs had been run over by the harvesters and deep wheel tracks were left behind in the soil. A number of red-listed species were also found in the forests. These threatened species and high conservation value forests should be conserved under the FSC; however, many companies sanctioned by their certification bodies are acting irresponsibly and are knowingly planning to and logging areas which would violate the FSC standard. This rapidly diminishes the credibility of FSC.
- FSC certification should provide assurance that wood products come from management that take nature conservation consideration and not as present an imminent threat to it. FSC needs to take reins immediately and provide companies and its verifiers explicit safeguards on how to conserve Sweden's last remaining old-growth forest if not risk becoming a non-functioning tool, says Amanda Tas.
Based on its findings Greenpeace identified several recommendations (1) needed to regain and strengthen FSC's integrity and credibility in Sweden including: adopting measures to improve the performance and quality of certifying body audits and for improved stakeholder engagement and allowing for temporary moratoriums until a solution regarding a formal complaint on a controversial logging plans is resolved.
It's about time Greenpeace started speaking out against the obvious fraud of FSC. Without the support of these large eco-groups FSC should fold, and we can finally get to stopping the destruction of old growth, primary growth and high conservation value forests.
We won't mention the Greenpeace global certification report which wholeheartedly endorses FSC; or the fact that even in Sweden, they're not pulling back but rather asking for enforcement which directly supports FSC's principles and criteria.
Keep holding your breath, Nickarz. Sooner or later you'll pass out.
Gee, Barry, I'm not letting them off the hook just yet!
David, criticizing is good but blatantly pointing them out as fraud is rather harsh. Nothing on an international level can be termed 100% proof, any NGO that demands this kind of organizational standard on such a wide level might have some trouble with policing a few on-the-ground logging operators.
Barry is right, asking for enforcement which directly supports FSC's principles and criteria is good enough for now, cause what else can they do, there is no viable better alternative.
Just be a realist, don't hold your breath, and live with it :)
FSC is way beyond anyone holding their breath (nose) and waiting for a better outcome. I am being a realist--FSC is a fraud waiting to fall. In five years time nobody will think FSC is good for the forests. The problems are systemic and so well entrenched that reform is impossible.
FSC does not oppose or reduce clear cutting. FSC does nothing to reduce pesticide use. It does not protect high conservation value forests, old and primary growth forests, endangered species or even question the basic wood volume use of the existing mills.
So, what does FSC do? They give people the false impression that the product that they are buying was made with wood from forests that were responsibly managed. They aren't.
Good call David
It is amazing the amount of corporations and organisations prmoting their FSC certified paper or wood as "environmentally sustainable". we need to resist this propaganda actively. send many emails people!
Shouldn't HCVFs be agreed upon in a multistakeholder process?? Just because a single interest/voice claims they have identified an HCVF doesn't mean they are right.
The loudest voice isn't always the one that is correct...
Apart from this, I simply don't understand how NGOs can target countries like Sweden when we have hundreds of cases far worse than what we ever will find up there.
Have a look at SE Asia, some countries in Africa, Russia, etc. Or the forestry and oil/gas industry in North America. But it's probably a step outside the comfort zone to do something in these regions. Better to bark up the wrong tree...
do You mean this really?????
Please read again Your comment...
I have no words on this.
of course we have a look at SE Asia, Afrika Brasilia, Danzas, DLH Group and so on. But on Sweden as Part of the very rich Europe as well.
When not Sweden is able to make sustainable foresting, whoelse cqan make this? (sorry when not complete the list)
So Poor, sorry.
"When not Sweden is able to make sustainable foresting, whoelse cqan make this? (sorry when not complete the list)"
Thanks for giving me a good example of these sweeping statements, trying to discredit a whole country and its industry.
I happen to spend almost every summer (+sometimes winters) up there, out in the real bush. I have Swedish friends working in the forest industry on the ground as harvester operators.
They are true friends of sustainable forestry and care for high conservation values because their livelihood depends on it! They like being out there, fishing, hunting, picking berries, etc. Just like I do when I go there. They are the ones living in harmony with nature, on the contrary to all lobbyists in the asphalt djungles in Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, London, etc. (where forests have disappeared centuries ago by the way..).
Yes, of course a single harvester operator can make mistakes in the site planning, or at harvestin, on SITE LEVEL, that is understandable when considering the vast volumes that are harvested every year.
But going from there to insist that forestry in Sweden more or less on purpose would try to eradicate and destroy values on which this industry is dependent on, is nothing else but sheer populistic nonsense.
I would not be surprised if the majority of the authors here never sat foot in Sweden. Or any other Boreal forest for that matter...
Dear poor Harry. The worlds of the “ecos” are so bad to You…. Without any knowledge they try to disturb Your mind…my pity is with You. Maybe You can give us all Your Mailadress that we can pity You all.
Are You sponsored from the Forest industry? Or the Swedish Forest ministry, or Swedish FSC, or are You only totally blind on both eyes….
what a nonsense of comment.
When I count all together I spend several Year of my life inside boreal forest, and watch special the very poor and unnecessary Swedish/Finnish harvesting method of forests.
I worked a longer time in temperate forest as well and cut in my life several thousand of trees and I am living and working since 25 Years inside the woodbusiness.
I have try to study ecological Forestmanagment in a time, where this was impossible, so let me say, that I am not unknown what happened and what can happen; especially in Sweden.
Have a look few Swedish miles west, and you will see mainly another Forestmanagment on the same Latitude then in Sweden, ok, with a little other clima conditions. So maybe You can believe, that i am not so on “Housewife“ level discussion than You try to discuss here.
Yeah, I like Sweden and the Swedish Country and the Swedish people, really, but I hate the way how they managed there forests.
Maybe You can inform Yourself a little what is especially the ecological particularity of boreal forests in Wikipedia: (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borealer_Nadelwald ) or in another extreme good Literature: “Ökologie der Erde”, written from Walter/Breckle, before You write some nonsense like You have done. Friends which are working with an harvester maybe have an Idea of there Mashine, but not regular from the extreme complicate and sensitive ecosystem of boreal forests? To life with and inside the boreal forest is perhaps not a guaranty to know all about this system?
Do you really believe, that a total clear-cut of several km², inclusive taken out all wooden Biomass is a good Forestmanagment (FSC Certificated)? Then you have to get the Nobel price for ecological science, when you can describe, what is good and “sustainable” for teh forest and not for the pocket on this way.
No Harry, sorry to say, the Swedish forest policy have absolutely nothing to do with Sustainable FOREST Management! -As well as FSC certificated or not. The system of FSC is only a marketing instrument of the woodindustry, a money printing (now start more to be a hugh credibilityproblem for GP and WWF, nothing more, and caricature and contradicts himself. The Swedish system use in general the complete Biomass to produce “E85” from the roots and the crown, ok, this help Sweden to get free from the fossil energy(on the other side, about 80% of the Swedish houses are heated up with electric energy…..) Sweden have in reality one of the highest electric energy consumption of the world, but this is not thema here….But on which Price they try to get free of fossil engergy? So when you fulfil Your Tank with E 85, You can be sure, that You take inside Your tank the death of a system what need about 1or 2000 Years to regenerate or more. When you use electric energy in Sweden You can be sure that’s it nuclear power or mainly watercraft energy which destroys total landscape with there Walls and sees.
Do you have count, how much insect life in the natural forest of Sweden and after a clear-cut, after planting all genetic the same Spruce Hybrids where naturally grow Birch (Betula….) or Pines(Pinus….??
Have You count, how much trees, birds, mammals, plants are killed or cannot alive in this ecodesert?
Have You investigate, how much Pesticides Sweden use in the Forests to protect this stupid, only valid on Harvesterfriendly businessfriendly System?
Have You study, how much erosion coming down all the rivers and hills/Mountains after clear-cut? I have just seen yesterday in Dalarna huge agro fields (And the streets themselves too!) complete underwater while beside the forest is clear-cut at an area of maybe 2,5 km² on naked stones! . A coincidence?????. So it’s lazy to discuss with You the ecological sustainability of boreal Forestmanagment, seems that You have only Your impression from Your friends and not too much own science background.
But I wondered what you want.
So at the end: I do not discrediting a whole country even there whole industry, I criticize very strong the live arrogant Swedish Woodindustrie and Forestmanagmentsystem, and I have really unfortunately all right to do this!
This make me angry and don’t let me believe in the NGO, which order is to protect this.
Just coming back from sweden today.
If I'm sponsored by the industry, you'll definitely have to be a politician.
I have never seen so many words and so little content.
Thanks, Thanks a lot for You teaching and sorry for my uncontent irrelevant words., (hm i just thinking that i have write these words just before? hm, cannot believe...)
I have written, what and whom i am. You not.
I believe, when somebody critic Sweden, that they can only be stupid.Sweden make all perfect, and only other countries have problems with there forests....
Like i will write to the other comment today, i dont waste any more time on this really idiotic unsencless "discussion" with scientific ignorance. Suddenly appear in this blog a lot of omniscience "people"??? (they dont write, how they are, they must have to hide something?), maybe we have to give the world to people like You. The readers have to decide what they believe. IN addition, You have a littel rigth, i have forgotten, Yes i worked and work a littel in the politic. MAybe this is, why i see al paralyzed.....
i will now learn my subject.
It's sad to see such a nasty discussion on such an important site. In my eyes there is nothing more worth listening to than criticism on FSC; not to blame the system but to improve it. Forgotten? FSC is a NGO with very little budget. Their revenues have been 5.4 million USD in 2007, half of it coming from donors. What does one want to do with 5.4m?? FSC needs us, needs sites like FSC-Watch to get better. From this point of view Greenpeace's comments are invaluable even though they might go too far.
If FSC was not, we could still watch ALL timber companies do their business without supervision and environmental and social organizations criticizing them. Instead FSC tries to bring them together. There is no better way of protectiong the forest than using it sustainably.
a) FSC is not a NGO in the defined way. It’s a “gGmbH”, a non business orientated Company, but it is a company. With a very complex, inscrutable financesystem. Where You have the 5,4 Mio USD turnaround from; which FSC You mean, in Mexico the S.A. or in Germany the several gGMBHs? Or the “working groups” And then please have a look, from where the money come and what is the reason for the “donating”.
b) I and a lot of people don’t want to improve the system of FSC, for its systemimmanent not working and will never do the job what was maybe in confidence was founded in the 90s for.
c) The system of FSC make several NGO like WWF and Greenpeace blind (IKEA vs. Greenpeace and Danzer vs. WWF for example, that the NGO are in strong interstcióllisisons where they cannot move out without loosing a lot of reputation), at least the Companies have “bought” the NGO.
d) If FSC was not founded, I am sure, that the situation of the international old growth forest in much much areas are much much better then now. But this was exactly the trick, the wood industry; I repeat I am a part of it, founded FSC.
e) Have you ever thinking about, why it is not possible for You to get, which origin have the certificated wood? The first information what is necessary for the end user to get trust? Which country, with forest system, which climazone? Nothing, not wanted from the system (The question appear why?- I can found a lot of reasons……)
f) Please think about: All Forest areas over the world are FSC certificated, all traders all handcrafters, all are FSC certificated. The FSC get rich, the forest die. When a system allows to harvest in Siberia an area of several thousand hectares primary forest in clear cut session, and says this is sustainable Forestmanagment, or well-mannered forest or what else, the system is best case blind or fraudulent. When FSC then say, that now they will start with the Emission certificate to trade, for they binding CO² in these forest, they are criminal. Not to be toped.
g) At least, when the FSC say, that an Eykalyptus plantation of several 10000 hectares are ecological well managing possible (and this area is planted illegal without refusing the certificate) then the system again is criminal and must be shot down at once before we loose the rest of our climalungs.
h) When the system have a director of board, which is a leader of a big and seem in the moment corrupt Plantation company, the system cannot be a forest protector, otherwise the director must be through out at once.
No Thomas, please believe, the FSC is not more then a marketing instrument and very welcome in the Wood business, founded to let the companies do what they want, in tow line the “business NGO” WWF/GP”RA and thousand of participators. Founded, to “let the lines of the international importers free of any restriction nothing more, but maybe much less less.
So maybe FSC need us, but we, especially me don’t need FSC
well then gerriet i suggest you start to think about another system since timber is a resource and there will always be people in need of wood and companies supplying it. so either you strengthen the fsc or you drum-up another system. one thing that you cannot do is to forbid it, that's just unrealistic. it's like forbidding car accidents or drug abuse. you will always have ppl doing it.
Please check about a little my history. Inside this block as well. I don’t want to be arrogant, but when not me, whoelse in my situation, with my job, do more in this thema……
Since early in 1987 I have create a simple system what was overrun buy the BINGOs (bigNGOs) or BuNGOs (Business NGOs)
It has nothing to do with an impossible definition of Sustainable (just then the word appear first times) or something other stupidest like “well managed”. But the BiNGOs don’t like this system, for there they cannot define their enemy, for it’s a neutral system. The wood industry hates the system, for anything is say about the origin (and can be proofed back since few Years cheap and sure) The end consumer can decide what he want and what not. Can be very easy taking European law (like in the food industry) And then the NGO can build up a system Like “Woodwikipedia” to give more information’s. What is necessary:
a) Botanical Name
b) Origin country (where the tree have growm)
c) Production country (Where is made the board for example)
d) Climaregion (Boreal/Tropic/Temperated…..)
e) Forest specification (Primary forest/Plantations/ secondary forest)
I will send You more detailed info’s (flyers) at Your Mail address today.
Be sure, I spend several thousands € annual about 25% of my work time and try to make Lobbying as well as I can do. But I have a job to do, I am responsible for a lot of people and at least, this is really not my Job. As part of the wood industry I have a special response and overview what happened there and what can happen.
Please think about:
Forest Certification system have always hugh Problems:
They must be big enough to have something to say.
They must certificate so all more or less, with very uncritical conditions that the big forest exploiters can fulfil them with not too much tears.
Temperate forests are more or less stabile and not so sensitively like Boreal or tropical.
Primary forest are destroyed for thousand of Years after logging in any! case.
One simple example: IN Germany Clear cut is in any case not allowed per FSC.
IN South Sweden, where its about the same climate (Temperate forest) clear-cut are allowed and accepted fro FSC. Where is the sense behind?.....
FSC shall become the Garanty, of the legality. But system immanent FSC cannot fulfil this and nobody, this is important as well, can proof this, for the system don’t allow to check the origin of the wood. The FSC say to me in a workshop last autum: “The FSC cannot guaranty the legality of the wood….” Take care. Not I have say this!!!!
So at least you must see, that its only a trick and fraudulent marketing instrument, nothing more:
For the politic (They have a system where the NGO don’t cry (I cannot believe that they don’t do so but this is why they called BuNGOS= Business NGOs.), they have accept the system and now they start to see what happened cruefully with this system. They are taped in a deep trap.
For the wood industry (they hear the NGOs and do what they want, so they are brave and smoothly)
For the end consumer: its accepted by the BiNGOS so must be good…..
For the BuNGOs: they earn money and mindfulness….
Only one group will get heart attacks: The forest ecologist.
But here I coming to the end: I try to stop this nonsense per trial in law. Somebody must do, cost me hugh sum and a lot of nerves and time, but, yes, what can I do…..
Thanks for your response. I am curious about your material and I will have a close look at it.
Do you see ANY way of pushing FSC in a direction that it meets your recquired standards? Because I think that if there is already a system in place that already has about 800+ members (of which the majority are timber companies) it could be used to promote real sustainable forestry. Because size definitely matters and I think FSC is beyond that critical size. Maybe it could be changed?
Sorry, correction: On July 8, 2009, FSC compromised of 830 members. 150 members formed the social, 332 the economic interest, and 348 the environmental chamber. Thus, environmental organizations made the majority. (Which of ccourse does not matter in terms of voting power since each chamber has 1/3 of voting power.)
Source (only valid until list changes): http://www.fsc.org/fileadmin/web-data/public/document_center/membership_documents/FSC_Membership_List_-_ENG.pdf
This raises another question in my head: Why is Greenpeace International and WWF International endorsing FSC if it's that bad? Ok, WWF is sometimes too weak but Greenpeace is actually a very strict and persistent organization. For example do they NOT endorse the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).
Again i am writing in FSC watch, while my time is running…
You have get my mail?
To say in 3 words if FSC can be useful for the protection of the forests:
No No No
I have thinking the first Years that might be possible, for I was in the working group, what have take part in founding of FSC in Germany, and leave immediately after this group promotes suddenly FSC. And we came all out of the tropical wood ”boycott” movement, from the beginning on, I was very very sceptic….
I can give you hundred of letters and Mails, there You can see the systemimmanent “Problems”, why FSC in this structure, with this member, with this Director of board, with this political out view:
“There is no area in the world, where it’s principal not possible to exploit the forest”
“There is no forest structure (maybe bad translate from German, means like Primary-, secondary-forest, Plantation e.g.) what is impossible to certificated”. Say Dr Sayer truthfull.
So what the FSC really want???
Make little little better then before, in best case? No, sorry, cannot. Then they must stop themselves immediately, the secondary prosperity is, that never before the exploitation of Primary forest was so high then now. Reason: the FSC show, that this can be done (haha!)…..Yes, I am sure, that The FSC is one reason, which nobody scare about the origin of the wood…..
Who take them the idea in their brain, that a boreal forest, where never been a human kind inside, can be exploited without strong damage of the ecosystem, set free thousand of tons methane and CO²?. Per definition loose a Primary forest the structure after exploiting, and several science study have found, that the forest maybe need - when good situation and not a strong erosion, microclimachange problem or others - few hundred Years to regenerate, means not get in Climaxstadium back, only to regenerate. And FSC have the arrogance to declare, that this is sustainable? (I know, with good reason, they don’t use this word any more, for then they are really criminal charlatans and can be catch in trials)
Who take in the brain of this system, only while studies, funded from WWF and GP (“which bred I eat, with slave I am”) with this typical “self quotation through several sources (so its not too proof, where is the origin of the citation). Repeating again make the truth of a statement not more truthfull…..
Who take the stupidity in the brain of this system, that a temperate rainforest (where is only little left in the world) can be harvested in British Columbia about 50% clearcut directly on seaside, and still stay as a stabile forest ecosystem? What have been protected since the 1980th (spotted owl campaigns from GP and others…) now destroyed with help of FSC from the same BuNGOs.
Who beliefs that Companies like the Danish DLH Group, which have a lot of blood, human and ecology, on there hands and in their face, suddenly are the smoothest company of the world?
That DLH, one of the biggest wood trading companies in the word, which fulfil about 30% of there huge website with FSC marketing nonsense, don’t try to “trick” and inordinateness come automatically? (There is a “serious” lobby inside FSC, which want to “legalize” this inside the FSC: When You buy for example 1000m³ FSC wood, You can sell 1000m³ of another wood as FSC certificated! Fantastic, FSC keep it up!, go ahead in this way, and You are digging Your own grave.
You really think that international companies can retrace the ways of every peace of there wood, certificated (and non certificated as well) when there wood runs over continents and through several Countries, warehouses and customs; mixed together and sorted again; while maybe several time running through a production line???? And when not they, how shall be done in an international company from a certifier? This, everybody know, is not even in financial system running, but shall be work in not reviewable goods?
Ist a trusty company, where several daughter companies have a lot of trials for illegal woodtradings in earlier Years? (Have a look, which companies are bought from DLH in the last 25 Years)Have lost there Concessions for illegal logging, for tax evasion and now they are formed as pure ecologists?
This company, which write on the same website, that they are proud to be friends of the Burmese (Myanmarian) “government” since decades and now only can export the best Teak from Burma over
the third country china for existing this EU Embargo? Please then have a look, which role takes for example Mr Christiansen, one of the leaders, in FSC (in German as well!!!).
Who believe the story written by DLH there must be a naiv.
No, no, no, maybe I am too stumpy, but I cannot believe that somebody really accept this.
When You then look at the vey unrestrictive policy of FSC, please thinking about, why this is. Normally, when there is a complaint (believe me, not so easy to do this by own experience!), normally teh system must renounce at once for the period asteh complaint is running the certificate or the whole company. But this is, welldone, not a matter of FSC, it must be done from the certifier. What idiotic! And they don’t make it, sure, they loose then money!
You will find very quickly that the non business chambers cannot make anything (one chamber cannot be over voted) without the commercial chamber agree….
They use FSC only as a fraud alibi (this alone is a long discussion to look behind the systematic) and this is typical! But FSC is too powerlessly, maybe they even don’t want to powering against this….
When I want to build up a transparent and trusty system I will never in my life! Communicate with people like them (DLH Group)….
When I want to build up a transparent and trusty system I will never let my “enemy”, the source of the discussion, the forest exploiters’, let to have a vote, especially not the same then me, in the system. There cannot come out something what is good for the rest of our forests.
Sorry, FSC watch, I am writing always long comments……but here i must stop now…..
….But one last Word to GP. Maybe they see now, that FSC have existentially problems and don’t want to fall in another deep trap with the horrible MSC again? They see, what they have done (when not, they must be blind)…
Thanks again for your reply in detail. Unfortunately I have not yet received your mail.
I am sorry to disappoint you but my opinion is still different from yours. I acknowledge that FSC is not perfect at all but I am willing to give it a chance. With due respect I think that you are quite radical. No judgement though! And I'm wondering what you are doing on this site...
Why? Look what is written top right. "About: This site is dedicated to encouraging scrutiny of the Forest Stewardship Council's activities. By doing so, it aims to increase the integrity of the FSC's forest certification scheme."
So in fact, this site aspires improvement of the FSC. It recognizes that FSC has shortcomings but wants to participate in correcting them which I think is a very precious object.
However, we do not have to have the same opinion. So I suggest we stop discussing here since it will not serve to anything apart from maybe improving FSC due to your comments. And that does not seem to be what you want.
I am wishing you good luck and success with your engagement for the world's forests!
i have send mail immidiately after first lunch. MAYbe You can write me a mail on office at eurobinia.eu that i have Your correct mailadress and i will send again, MAybe was too big ( i think around 12 MB)
I will write later on a comment to Your last ...
i will be in a few days as hospitatant watching a postaudit certification from a meduim big woodtraders. then i will have new impressions.
By the way, one of my client is since 5 Years certificated, was never audite after fist audit, he get invoices from SGS and payed, but nobody check something, wirded as well....
I have give FSC a chance. I Will never do in my life agin, for i want to protect forest for the graspingly hunger of the international "Woodmafia" ONly in hte moent, when FSC make what they say, maybe i will believe them, but hen its equal, hey are not longer existent then.
i Dont think i am to radical, sure, but i hate lies and saaying knowingly thinks what he cannot garanty, and i hate as well unthroughly, corrupting acivities.
In June 2010, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation resigned from FSC Sweden. Two years ago, the SSNC left the board of FSC Sweden. As the largest environmental organis...
Add a comment