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]
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]
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]
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]
Last month, FSC-Watch received the following post about SmartWood's certification of Hancock Victorian Plantations. Early in February, a large area of Hancock's plantations burned down: part of the tragic fires which saw the loss of more than 200 lives and 1,800 homes. More information about the fires is available here.
FSC, Hancock and Smartwood Selling Out the Gippsland Environment
The reputation of FSC in Australia has been dealt another nasty blow with Smartwood's 2008 audit of Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP)...[Continue]
The controversy over SGS Qualifor's certification of Veracel deepened last week with two-pages of articles in the Brasil de Fato newspaper. The articles (in Portuguese, links below) note the recent court decision against Veracel, fining Veracel US$12.5 million and ruling that the company must remove eucalyptus trees covering an area of 96,000 hectares and replant native forest.
The articles also make several other serious criticisms of Veracel, based on an interview with João Alves da Silva, the public prosecutor in the town of Eunápolis, Bahia state...[Continue]
In a shock announcement, South Africa-based SGS Qualifor - FSC's second largest certifier - has said that it has taken a 'business decision' not to issue any further FSC forest management certificates, pending a 'review' of it's forest management certification processes. The announcement, made on the FSC's website, is believed to pre-empt an imminent decision by the FSC Secretariat to formally suspend SGS's accreditation worldwide...[Continue]
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]
Galician environmental group Verdegaia and a confederation of 300 environmental groups from Spain have demanded that the the FSC certificate of eucalyptus plantation company NORFOR should be immediately cancelled.
As FSC-Watch has previously reported, the certificate has already been the subject of a formal complaint. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in no action by FSC - though FSC continues to maintain the fiction that it has an effective complaints procedure...[Continue]
World Rainforest Movement expresses strong criticism of the FSC in its statement reacting to the news that Veracel's monoculture eucalyptus plantations are now FSC certified. WRM notes that Veracel is the "last piece in a chain of failures" by FSC.
At the time of the company's assessment by SGS in September 2007, WRM warned that the possible certification of Veracel placed FSC 'at the crossroads'...[Continue]