FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

WWF pulls the plug on Barama, former FSC star performerTags: Guyana, WWF, SGS Qualifor

WWF has finalised its forced retreat from supporting one of South America's most notorious logging companies, and now says it believes that the Guyana-based Barama would not be able to regain the FSC certificate that was 'suspended' in 2007.

FSC-Watch is glad to learn that the local chapter of WWF is 'reviewing' its policy on supporting private logging companies - something which the WWF should reconsider worldwide - but wonders how the 'fatal flaws' in Barama's logging operations were not identified at the time by its certifier, SGS?

The following report comes from the Guyanese newspaper, Starbroek news...[Continue]

'Low quality' SGS targetted in Greenpeace protest campaignTags: Spain, Poland, Guyana, Greenpeace, SGS Qualifor

As previously reported on FSC-Watch, the certification of the Spanish industrial plantation company, NORFOR, has caused widespread concern, which a recent FSC inspection of the company's certifier, SGS, has only served to heighten. Despite finding clear non-compliances with FSC's Principles and Criteria, the certificate remains in place.

Greenpeace Spain has now launched a letter-writing campaign against SGS, asking the certifier to "stop damaging the good name of the FSC start an in-depth review towards improving the professional quality of your audits, evaluation methodology and, especially, the company's ethical code." The 'cyber-action' campaign, in both Spanish and English, also cites other SGS controversial certificates, including in Guyana and Poland...[Continue]

Barama, Guyana: WWF's 'suspended' star performer in South America accused by President of giant timber scamTags: Guyana, WWF, Legality, SGS Qualifor

At the start of this year, FSC-Watch reported on the 'suspension' of the FSC certificate of Malaysian-owned Guyanese logging company, Barama. A statement issued today by the President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, who accuses Barama of "fraud", will come as a further embarrassment to supporters of the certificate.

One of the issues which the 'suspension' of Barama's certificate raised was the extent to which the FSC system is able or unable to detect high-level fraud and corruption associated with companies seeking certification...[Continue]

WWF decides that biggest tropical logging certificate was not such a good thing after allTags: Guyana, WWF, SGS Qualifor

Back in January, FSC-Watch reported that the largest FSC certified tropical logging operation (Barama, in Guyana) had had its certificate suspended. One of the interesting aspects of this was that WWF had been working closely with the company for some time, providing technical advice and helping the company to get its certificate. This was clearly an embarrassment for WWF, who had only 9 months earlier breathlessly exclaimed that the certificate was a "record-setting accomplishment for tropical forest conservation in South America"...[Continue]

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evilTags: Guyana, South Africa, FSC Secretariat, SGS Qualifor

A couple of weeks ago, FSC-Watch received this email from Wally Menne of TimberWatch in South Africa. It raises an interesting point - the FSC International Secretariat produces almost exclusively good news, no matter what is happening in the outside world. So far, Wally has not received either a reply or an acknowledgment of his email. We will, of course, be happy to post FSC's response when it appears.

Subject: RE: [FSCmembership] [N&N] News & Notes Annual Review 2006
From: Wally Menne
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 18:38:00 +0200
To: <....>, <....>

Dear Uta

Thank you for the News & Notes Annual Review 2006...[Continue]

FSC audit of SGS leads to suspension of largest tropical logging certificateTags: Guyana, Accreditation controls, Certifier conflict of interest, Partial certification, WWF, SGS Qualifor

It was announced today that FSC’s largest certificate for tropical forest management, had been suspended. The certificate, issued by SGS-Qualifor to the Barama company, the Guyanese subsidiary of the controversial Malaysian-based logging transnational, Samling, was put on hold following an investigation by the FSC’s Accreditation Service International (ASI) in November 2006.

The announcement will come as a particular embarrassment to WWF. In March 2006, when Barama received their certificate, WWF proclaimed it as a "record-setting accomplishment for tropical forest conservation in South America"...[Continue]

Guyana's certified 'Plunder without Profit'Tags: Guyana, Certifier conflict of interest, SGS Qualifor

A new report from researcher Janette Bulkan has cast an interesting light on the Guyanese logging industry, including FSC-certified company Barama.

The report seems to confirm what many Guyanese have long known: that the logging industry is not much good for anybody other than the logging companies themselves. According to the new research, as reported in the Starkbroek News, even the FSC-certified Barama brings little or no value to this desperately poor country...[Continue]