FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

The timber may be certified: but is it sustainable?Tags: Cameroon, Brazil, Absence of national standards, All certifiers

The headline comes from a recent post on CIFOR's Forest Blog. CIFOR is the Centre for International Forestry Research. The blog post is based on research by one of CIFOR's scientists, Paolo Omar Cerutti, who was lead author of a recent paper published in Forest Policy and Economics: Legal vs...[Continue]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates #2: SEFAC, CameroonTags: Cameroon, Legality, Suspended certificates, ICILA

Another of the many deeply troubling but now, at least temporarily, vanished FSC certficates exposed by FSC-Watch is that of the rainforest logging 'SEFAC group' in Cameroon. The SEFAC certificate disapeared off FSC's certified forest database sometime during 2009. Neither FSC nor SEFAC itself, nor the logger's certifier, ICILA, provided an explanation for this.

However, the certificate started running into serious trouble already in July 2008, when the FSC's 'certifier watchdog', Accreditation Services International (ASI), carried out a field inspection of the certified company...[Continue]

Certification of Vasto Legno/SEFAC, Cameroon; Another major blow to FSC's credibilityTags: Cameroon, Legality, ICILA

FSC-Watch has received unconfirmed reports that the Italian certification company ICILA has issued a certificate to the Cameroonian Groupe SEFAC, which is owned by Italian timber company Vasto Legno. Although the Public Summary report of the certification is not yet available on ICILA's website, sufficient details have already emerged to suggest that this will come as yet another major blow to FSC's credibility.

The Vasto Legno subsidiary SEFAC (Société d'Exploitations Forestières et Agricoles du Cameroun), has been logging in the rainforests Cameroon's Eastern province for more than three decades...[Continue]

The amazing, disappearing, FSC certificates...Tags: Cameroon, Suspended certificates, Bureau Veritas

Earlier this year, we reported on the 'anomalous' circumstances surrounding the certification of Wijma, a company logging in the rainforests of Cameroon. Wijma's certifier, Bureau Veritas was 'suspended' because of Wijma's certificate, though the certificate itself was allowed to remain in place. Now we learn that, in a complete reversal, Burea Veritas has been 're-accredited' to FSC, but Wijma has mysteriously disappeared off the list of currently certified companies...[Continue]

Bureau Veritas: banned from Cameroon, but free to operate next door in GabonTags: Cameroon, Gabon, Accreditation controls, Bureau Veritas

Earlier this year, FSC-Watch reported on the curious circumstances surrounding the 'suspension' of Bureau Veritas's (BV) accreditation by FSC for, as yet unrevealed, problems with the certification of the Cameroonian rainforest logging company, Wijma. We now learn that, whilst Bureau Veritas remains prohibited from carrying out FSC certifications in Cameroon, it has just started the process of trying certify the massive logging operations of Rougier, in neighbouring Gabon...[Continue]

Bureau Veritas accreditation suspended in CameroonTags: Cameroon, Certifier conflict of interest, Eurocertifor, Bureau Veritas

FSC-Watch has previously reported on the highly controversial certification of Wijma, a company logging in the rainforests of Cameroon which the independent observer of forests in that country has repeatedly found to be involved in illegalities.

The certification has now led to the suspension of Wijma's certifer, Bureau Veritas (formerly Eurocertifor). We have been asked to post the following article, which is submitted by Danielle van Oijen, Forest Campaigner, Milieudefensie / Friends of The Earth Netherlands...[Continue]

Cameroon: Wijma still certified, as official observer finds new illegalitiesTags: Cameroon, Corrective Action Requests, Wijma, Legality, Eurocertifor

The following article by Philippe Chibani-Jacquot first appeared on novethic.fr, in October, 2006 (*)

The decision to maintain the FSC label awarded to the first certified concession in Central Africa continues to make waves among environmentalists. The certification gained by the Wijma-Douala company is encouraging other companies to commence the same process.

Since December 2005, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a sustainable forest management label, has been facing criticism from the Cameroon NGO, the Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED/Centre for the Environment and Development), Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth-France...[Continue]

Certified 'chainsaw criminals' in CameroonTags: Cameroon, Eurocertifor

This item was written by Philippe Chibani-Jacquot in Cameroon. (It is worth adding that Wijma had been called a 'Chainsaw Criminal' by Greenpeace in 2002.)

For the first time in Central Africa, a logging concession has been awarded an FSC certificate, which guarantees the sustainable management of forest resources. This certification has been criticised by environmental NGOs, who cite a number of weaknesses in the audit undertaken by the French certification company, Eurocertifor...[Continue]