An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

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]

FSC responds to departure of FERN; Secretariat still in self-denialTags: Carbon offsets

The FSC Secretariat has issued a response to the resignation of important NGO member, FERN, which FSC-Watch reported recently. Whilst the statement naturally tries to play down the significance of FERN's departure (and pretends that FERN had no concerns about the organisation other than on carbon certification, which it knows to be untrue), it reveals just how firmly in self-denial the FSC remains.

FSC's statement justifies its drift towards involvement in forest carbon certification by saying that "FSC's principal role in climate mitigation frameworks would be to ensure that the management, monitoring and monetization of forest carbon resources do not come at the expense of people's rights or the environment"...[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]

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]

FACE Foundation makes misleading claims about FSCTags: Uganda, Misleading claims, Carbon offsets, SGS Qualifor

The FACE Foundation, a Dutch carbon offset company, claims on its website that its tree planting projects at Mount Elgon and Kibale national parks in Uganda are both certified by FSC. While Mount Elgon is FSC certified (despite major, ongoing land disptues), the FACE Foundation's project at Kibale is no longer FSC certified...[Continue]