FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Veracel: "Sustainable on Paper" thanks to FSCTags: Brazil, Complaints procedures, Plantations, SGS Qualifor, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

On 13 March 2008, SGS Qualifor awarded an FSC certificate for Veracel's monoculture eucalyptus plantations in Bahia, Brazil. WRM announced that this was FSC's "Death Certificate".

In 2010, two Belgian journalists, Leopold Broers and An-Katrien Lecluyse, spent three months investigating the impact of Veracel's monoculture eucalyptus plantations on local communities. They made a documentary, titled, "Sustainable on Paper", based on interviews carried out in Bahia and Belgium:

Broers and Lecluyse listened not only to the company's point of view, but spent time finding out what local communities think about the project...[Continue]

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]

New Forests Company plantation in Uganda - FSC files a complaint against itselfTags: Uganda, Plantations, Accreditation controls, ASI, SGS Qualifor

The FSC sank to new levels of farce this week with a decision that in effect means that the organisation has lodged a complaint against itself.

As we reported a week ago an investigation by Oxfam has revealed that the FSC-certified New Forests Company in Uganda has been responsible for eviction of 22,500 people from their land. In addition to the video news piece about Oxfam's report produced by the Guardian, Al Jazeera TV also reported on the evictions, including interviews with Kate Geary of Oxfam and Robert Devereux, the Chairman of New Forests Company...[Continue]

Oxfam report: 22,500 people evicted to make way for FSC certified plantations in UgandaTags: Uganda, Carbon offsets, Plantations, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

On 22 September 2011, Oxfam released a report about a UK-based company called New Forests. Oxfam's researchers visited the company's plantations in Uganda and found that more than 22,000 people were kicked off the land to make way for the company's monocultures. Oxfam made public what FSC's certifying body, SGS, had somehow managed to ignore for the past two years. Accreditation Services International (ASI) in turn found out nothing about the evictions when it carried out an audit of SGS in 2010. New Forests Company has put out a statement explaining that it "takes Oxfam’s allegations extremely seriously and will conduct an immediate and thorough investigation"...[Continue]

The Orwellian world of FSC, plantations and 'Motion 18'Tags: Plantations

Orwellian: (Pertaining to the author, George Orwell) "Connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson" - a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments."

Last week, we reported on a move by some of the FSC's members to reconsider the prohibition on the certification of plantations that have been established on former forest land that has been cleared later than 1994...[Continue]

FSC's proposed change of rules on plantations "may be hard-to-stomach"Tags: Plantations, Greenpeace

A revealing article posted by leading website on rainforest issues, mongabay.com raises concerns about proposed changes to FSC's rules, which threaten to open up the flood gates of FSC certification of plantations which have recently been established on former areas of natural forests. At present, FSC prohibits certification of plantations that are on land cleared of forest after 1994.

According to Mongabay, the original proposer of the motion was Daemeter Consulting, a spokesperson for which states that "As a member and strong supporter of FSC, we believe the organization needs to take a pragmatic approach to ensure it maintains an ability to influence the conversion [of natural forests to plantations] process"...[Continue]

A new film exposing FSC: 'Sustainable on Paper'Tags: Brazil, Pesticides, Plantations, Indigenous Peoples, Certifier conflict of interest, SGS Qualifor

A new film documents the problems with FSC. FSC-Watch will be posting several articles about this over the next few days. Meanwhile, here is FERN's description of the film in EU Forest Watch, January 2011. Below that is a trailer for the film.

'Sustainable on Paper'

Despite some plantations in Brazil being Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, they are nevertheless beset by problems. This is well-described in the film 'Sustainable on Paper' by freelance journalists Leo Broers and An-Katrien Lecluyse opening in Ghent, Belgium, 24 January 2011.[1]

Using the example of Brazilian-Scandinavian transnational Veracel, the film documents why many FSC-certified tree plantations are controversial...[Continue]

Formal complaint to FSC about killings of baboons by FSC-certified companies in South AfricaTags: South Africa, Complaints procedures, Plantations

Almost 2,000 baboons have been killed in the past two years by FSC-certified plantation companies in South Africa. Below is a press release from GeaSphere about a formal complaint submitted to FSC this week about the killings.

Stop the killing’ of baboons in the mountains of Mpumalanga, South Africa!

The environmental pressure group GeaSphere submitted a formal complaint to the FSC – Forest Stewardship Council – on Tuesday, 11 January 2011.

At least 1,914 baboons had been ‘removed’ by a controversial ‘trap and shoot’ method by FSC Certified plantation companies during the past two years...[Continue]

Uruguay: Tree plantation workers and agrotoxic sprayingTags: Uruguay, Pesticides, Plantations, SGS Qualifor

A new report, published jointly by Rap-Al Uruguay and Rel-UITA looks at tree plantation workers and agrotoxic spraying. The research was carried out on plantations operated by FOSA (Forestal Oriental S.A.), a transnational company that is owned by UPM (formerly Botnia) and which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

An article based on the report was published in last month's WRM Bulletin:

Uruguay: Tree plantation workers and agrotoxic spraying"

World Rainforest Movement Bulletin, Issue 161 - December 2010

One of the promises made by plantation companies to gain support – from the government and from local communities – is that they will create employment...[Continue]

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