FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC commits "major blunder" by certifying clearcutting in California's redwoodsTags: USA, High Conservation Value Forests, Pesticides, SCS

On 11 February 2013, Green Diamond Resource Company announced that it had received FSC certification. Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President of SCS announced that,

"Green Diamond Resource Company has undergone a lengthy and rigorous assessment of its forest management practices, broadly defined, and have demonstrated a level of conformance to the FSC Standard that merits award of certification."

EPIC (Environmental Protection Information Center) disagrees with SCS's assessment...[Continue]

The scandal of Asia Plywood Company in Sarawak, Wickes, B&Q, SCS and FSCTags: Malaysia, Chain of Custody, Mixed sources labelling, Misleading claims, SCS

B&Q and Wickes, two of Britain's biggest DIY stores, have been caught selling plywood falsely labelled as FSC certified.

The company selling the plywood, Asia Plywood Company, is the largest exporter of Meranti wood and plywood in Malaysia. The website Sarawak Report explains that Asia Plywood Company got its FSC certificate not for the timber it logs in Sarawak, but "by pledging that at least 70% of the content of its finished plywood was now being sourced from New Zealand plantation pine."

In fact, the plywood on sale in the UK was "almost completely made up of tropical hardwood, such as meranti wood," Sarawak Report notes...[Continue]

Armed security force of FSC-certified company kills villager in BrazilTags: Brazil, Plantations, Partial certification, SCS

Two years ago, a peasant was murdered by guards of the company Vallourec and Mannesman in Brazil. At the time, V&M's plantations were certified for FSC by SGS-Qualifor.

Another tragic death in another FSC-certified plantation has now taken place. Below is a statement from the Sócio-Environmental Fórum of the Extreme South of Bahia and the Alert against the Green Desert Network, dated 23 March 2010, about the latest killing...[Continue]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates, #1: Massachusetts state forestsTags: USA, Suspended certificates, Certifier conflict of interest, SCS

FSC-Watch has several times in the last eighteen months reported on the FSC-certified 'chainsaw massacre' taking place in the state forest lands of Massachusetts, USA. Managed by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), 285,000 acreas of forest had been certified by California-based Scientific Certification Systems Inc (SCS) since 2004.

The Massachusetts DCR certificate 'disappeared' in April 2009, without any explanation from the FSC or the certifier...[Continue]

More media coverage of the Massachusetts Chainsaw MassacreTags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

Last month, FSC-Watch posted information about the FSC-certified destructive logging taking place in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Forest Watch has documented the destruction in detail. The story has received more media coverage, listed below, with links.

Taxpayers footing bill to destroy state forests

Capital 9 News, 3 April 2009

It's a massive space of open land in Savoy Massachusetts...[Continue]

Why does FSC allow the Massachusetts Chainsaw Massacre to remain certified?Tags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

FSC is coming in for some serious criticism in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Forest Watch produced a 50-page report detailing the damage that logging is doing to State forests.

Subsequently, the Boston Channel's Team 5 Investigates produced a video explaining how the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is supposed to protect forests, is actually cutting them down. Click on the image below to watch the video:

The transcript is available here...[Continue]

Exposed: FSC-certified clear-cutting of Massachusetts public forests, USATags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

A new website launched recently reveals the destruction of Massachusetts public forests by clear-cutting, even though they have been FSC certified. Clearcutting MA Public Lands shows a series of aerial photographs taken by a local activist.

The more than half million acres of Massachusetts Public Forests, including the Savoy Forest, were certified by Scientific Certification Systems Inc, in August 2004. SCS evidently had difficulty in massaging the state public bodies through the certification process: of the 17 'conditions' which SCS had attached to the certificate between 2002, when assessment began, and 2004, only two conditions had been 'closed out' by the time the certificate was issued...[Continue]

FSC certification of US public forest lands: the warnings from MichiganTags: USA, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, SCS

Debate is growing in the US about the certification of public forests with FSC and the so-called Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) being the front-running schemes. There are good reasons to question whether, in its current state, FSC is an appropriate tool for certification of the vast areas of forest which are in state and federal public ownership in the US, and which in many cases have very high values for recreational, cultural and nature protection purposes. Some of the potential problems are starkly illustrated by one of the existing major FSC certifications of public forest lands, that of the 1.6 million hectares of the Michigan state forests as managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...[Continue]

FSC wood debacle lands city authority in courtTags: USA, Brazil, Procurement policies, Mixed sources labelling, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A US timber company is suing a New Jersey city authority over its cancellation of a controversial order of FSC certified lumber for repair of its ocean-front boardwalks. In the latest development in this long-running debacle, which has exposed gaping weaknesses in the FSC's Chain of Custody system, the Louis Grasmick Lumber company of Baltimore has said that it will sue the Ocean City authorities for $1.2 million

Local environmental campaigners have long opposed the use by Ocean City of Amazonian ipe wood for the city boardwalk renovation project...[Continue]

Nicaragua: Global Witness raises doubts over legality of FSC certified operationsTags: Nicaragua, WWF, Legality, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The most recent report of the official Independent Forest Monitor in Nicaragua, the London-based NGO Global Witness, has once again called into question the ability of FSC's accredited certifiers to detect illegalities in certified forestry operations. The December 2007 report notes that "The Monitor was not able to detect a significantly different level of legal compliance between certified and uncertified forest".

Global Witness has directly accused one of the certified operations, Hermanos Ubeda, of illegal logging...[Continue]

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