FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC's new plan to launder wood from deforestationTags: Worldwide, Controlled wood, Plantations

It's official: the FSC is now setting out to use its grotesque Controlled (sic) Wood Policy in order to 'launder' wood from areas experiencing recent deforestation into the FSC certified wood supply chain.

Under the FSC's current rules, areas of natural forest that have been cut down and converted into industrial tree plantations later than 1994 cannot be FSC certified. This important 'safeguard' has been a source of annoyance to the plantation industry (which has been strongly represented on the Board of FSC), as well as large scale pulp and paper companies, which would like to see the restriction removed - in such a way that, in effect, wood from almost any plantation anywhere in the world could be FSC certified, regardless of whether it had been the cause of large-scale or recent deforestation...[Continue]

New video exposes FSC failure to uphold the Principles and Criteria: 'Is FSC the right choice?'Tags: Worldwide, South Africa, Plantations

Geasphere the NGO working in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland dedicated to the protection of ecological integrity, has released a new short video explaining why FSC's certification of plantations in South Africa are in clear contravention of the FSC's Principles and Criteria, and how the P&C themselves are defective in ensuring that FSC certifed timber is "environmentally appropriate".

Taking us on a tour of some of the South African landscapes devastated by industrial plantations, the video explains how FSC's Principle 10 is inadequate to ensure that certified plantations are not responsible for destruction of non-forest ecosystem, such as grasslands, even if these are more biodiverse than local forests...[Continue]

FSC's Chain of Custody system: "potential for misleading, false or fraudulent claims is very real"Tags: Worldwide, Chain of Custody

FSC-Watch has received the following posting from a correspondent with "fifteen years' experience as an auditor of FSC systems". Like many people who have worked within the FSC system, and know first-hand the kinds of problems pointed out repeatedly on FSC-Watch, the contributor wishes to make their views known anonymously.

The contribution starts by pointing out, rightly, that the Chain of Custody system is something to which FSC-Watch has paid little attention over the last four years. The problem is simply that the CoC system is so opaque that there is almost no information available to analyse or on which to comment...[Continue]

FERN quits FSC over moves to certify carbon offsetsTags: Worldwide, Carbon offsets

In a further serious blow to FSC's credibility, a long-term key NGO supporter of the organistion, FERN, has announced the resignation of its membership.

FERN's reports on forest certifcation, such as Behind the Logo and Footprints in the Forest helped to prop up the FSC's credibility for the last decade. They were often cited by holders of FSC certificates as proof of solid NGO support for the organisation.

Now FERN has quit because, it says, "FSC's increased involvement in forest carbon offsetting breached one of the thresholds for continued FERN membership"...[Continue]

'FSC Friday' #1: 'Can we trust the FSC?', asks The Ecologist MagazineTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, WWF, Greenpeace

This is the first of a series of articles which will be posted in the run-up to 'FSC Friday' (September 25th), with which FSC-Watch aims to highlight some of the on-going problems with FSC certifications.

The world's leading environmental magazine, the Ecologist, has today published a major feature article on the FSC. The article questions the role of FSC in certiyfing plantations, raises doubts about how 'multi-stakeholder' an organisation FSC really is, and questions the motivations of some of the big NGO members of the organisation, including WWF and Greenpeace...[Continue]

UN strips SGS UK of accreditation for carbon project certification - FSC to follow for SGS-Qualifor?Tags: Worldwide, Carbon offsets, SGS Qualifor

As the FSC is considering how it should engage with potential future forest carbon trading schemes - and will no doubt be under pressure from the certification bodies, such as SGS and Rainforest Alliance, to move into this potentially lucrative market - it should take heed of recent developments concerning the United Nations scheme to certify international carbon credits.

The Times reports that "The legitimacy of the $100 billion (£60 billion) carbon-trading market has been called into question after the world's largest auditor of clean-energy projects was suspended by United Nations inspectors...[Continue]

Scandales dans la famille Forest Stewardship CouncilTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, Plantations, Mixed sources labelling, All certifiers

(This posting is reproduced from a article in the Courrier de la Planète.)

Ce texte est extrait d'une interview donnée par Simon Counsell au site Mongabay.com le 17 avril 2008. Cette interview faisait suite à celle de Nina Haase, responsable de la communication du Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), publiée sur le même site dix jours plus tôt et réalisée en réponse aux nombreuses critiques formulées à l'encontre du système de certification FSC...[Continue]

FSC and the Lacey Act: the $500,000 questionTags: Worldwide, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, Legality, All certifiers

In May 2008, the US government enacted a revision to the Lacey Act, a hundred year-old piece of legislation that renders it illegal to trade in goods in the US which are from illegal sources, which now makes the Act applicable to the timber trade. Whilst timber traders are no doubt hoping that use of FSC certified wood is going to keep them out of prison, they may be in for a nasty shock.

This year's revision to the Act came about through a long lobbying campaign by US environmental groups, who were also joined by the US wood industry and labour organisations in seeking to exclude illegally acquired wood from outside the US...[Continue]

NGOs in a tangle over need for FSC 'reforms'Tags: Worldwide

As the FSC General Assembly opened in Cape Town, northern NGOs were falling over themselves to issue statements as to how the FSC should be 'reformed' - or to try to claim that it already has been - but the contradictory demands set out by these NGOs are likely to ensure that the FSC will continue to stumble towards chaos, irrelevance and non-credibility.

First amongst the NGO statements was the Brussels and UK-based FERN, in a statement issued jointly with Greenpeace, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), the Tropical Forest Trust and the African logging lobby organisation, the Inter-African Forest Industry Association (IFIA)...[Continue]

An alternative view at the FSC General AssemblyTags: Worldwide

FSC members are becoming increasingly bemused by some of the 'side events' being set up for the General Assembly, including a seminar on 'Ecological Networks for Biodiversity Conservation', hosted by the South African plantations company, Mondi. But as the FSC slips ever further into blatant corporate-sponsored greenwashing, attendees will nevertheless have an opportunity to listen to an alternative viewpoint on FSC and plantations, to be presented at a 'non-official' side event hosted by local NGO Timberwatch, and the Global Forest Coalition...[Continue]

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