An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC is greenwashing Brazil's monoculture tree plantations: Part 1Tags: Brazil, Plantations

World Rainforest Movement currently has a great image of FSC's greenwashing of industrial tree plantations on the front page of its website (click on the image below to go to WRM's website):


FSC greenwashing monoculture tree plantations Evidence provided by the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Industry itself

For over a decade, the World Rainforest Movement has been denouncing that -by certifying large scale tree plantations- the FSC is greenwashing the destructive activities of plantation companies in Southern countries. More importantly, WRM has stressed that by doing so, the FSC is undermining local peoples' struggles against monoculture tree plantations.

Evidence supporting the above is provided in the following video by the executive president of the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Industry (BRACELPA), who argues that Brazilian "planted forests" cannot be called Green Deserts (as local communities suffering their impacts define them), because "all our forests [plantations] are certified by the FSC ".


When You look, who is Board of Director of FSC AC, Mr Robert Waack, no other Bullshit can come out.
"there is no area in the world, and there is no forest form in the world, which can be not certified!" O Ton of FSC Board of director Mr Waack (and the same from Uwe sayer as well, originall the same words). There is no comment necessary. he is the leader of hugh Eukalypus plantations company in a joint venture of Schattdekor, which is a very important German Company using hugh Quantities of Eukalyptus deserts..... What You want, this is for FSC absolutelly normal, they believe in what they say, and the politicians do either, they must have an IQ of ???.....And seems, that other people believe in this systems too....

I remember when the FSC was born. It was acknowledged by its founders that in the most optimistic vision the action of the FSC, isolated from other mechanisms of forest protection, would have be destined to failure. The FSC was thought to produce a shift in the market of wood products in favour of those obtained from soundly managed forests; therefore just a component to add to a more cohordinated set of forest and environmental protection initiatives; based on the rationale that a well-managed forest performs environmentally better than a "mined" forest and can sustainedly produce goods and services. The implementation of FSC schemes on primary forest is seen therefore just as a lesser damage versus the classical mining of those forests, that is the last option, when all other initiatives of protection have failed, to avoid a worst loss of value from the exploitation of that forest. It is a shame that FSC nowadays gives a kind of "green medal" to those responsible of having destroyed less than they could have done otherwise! Regretfully the greenwashing concept of "avoided damage" is being more and more accepted as something environmentally positive (as in the case of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol), as saying that -1 > -2 therefore is a positive number, or as I threat to kill two hostages, then after negotiating I kill only one and free the other, then I become a hero because i saved one life! Given the reduced amount of primary forest left any further loss should be considered unacceptable and any compromise on that issue paves the way to further loss thus having a more negative consequence than leaving any further exploitation not FSC-endorsed.
This negative output of the FSC certification might have not been well evaluated at the beginning and the rationale on which it is based is not completely wrong as the evaluation of the two negative values above (compromise + limited loss versus no endorsement + major loss + criminalization) is subjective and quantitatively influenced by the amount of primary forest left and loss deemed affordable.
There is another aspect of the FSC certification that has flawed the FSC action since its inception and that I must think has been developed just to please the wood industry regardless of environmental consequences: the certification of tree plantations. There were enough foresters and other professionals among the FSC founders well aware that:
1. The term "forest" is environmentally meaningless as it includes either a natural congregation of plants and animal of the maximum known complexity, often result of million of years of evolution, and the "green desert" of tree plantations. Technically the two sets have always to be kept separate; in our case, dealing with their management, the former has, in the case of "productive forest", to be managed in order to achieve the best possible compromise between consumption and environmental goods&services, the latter belongs to the realm of intensive agriculture.
2. In a natural productive forest a win-win compromise is achievable for most goods&services (it is easier to mention what cannot be achieved: e.g. amount of rotting trunks for sensible woodpecker species). In a plantation, no one positive example can be given! It is more environmentally wise to leave a clear-cutted forest to waste than to replant it with a commercial plantation!
3. To enounce that plantations contribute to lessen pressure on natural forests is a statement that false that contradicts any economics law (more wood supply = lower wood price = lower value on forest assets = less investment on their protection and more pressure on changing land use towards agriculture or pasture) and real-world experience (natural forests as a matter of fact are rapidly disappearing in countries rich in plantations).
This is not against tree plantations; they are useful as any other agriculture crop. But there is no reason to present their products as contributing to saving the world forests!
That actually means to be in bad faith since the beginning!

Dear Carlo
Just read Your comment, and thanks for this. Yes, this is a main part of my oppinion as well.

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