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 Complaints Panel says organisation 'needs to control certifiers better': SmartWood "undermines" the FSCTags: Democratic Republic of Congo, Controlled wood, Complaints procedures, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The outcome of Greenpeace's complaint against Congolese logging company SODEFOR, announced by the FSC on March 23rd, will probably not please the complainants very much, but it once again has served to highlight some of the glaring weaknesses in the FSC system.

As we have previously reported, the complaint against SODEFOR's certificate dates back to April 2011, but by the time Greenpeace had lodged their appeal, the certificate had already been withdrawn by the certifier, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood...[Continue]

SIFORCO in DR Congo: the continuing bloodstain on the FSC and its 'Controlled Wood' policyTags: Democratic Republic of Congo, Controlled wood, Greenpeace, Complaints procedures, Policy of Association, SGS Qualifor

In June of this year, we reported on the shocking atrocities against local communities happening in two FSC 'Controlled Wood' certified logging operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the two companies concerned, SODEFOR, had, by the time we reported, already had its certificate 'suspended', and was the subject of a formal complaint submitted by Greenpeace. The other, SIFORCO, remains certified (by SGS) to this day, but has also recently had a complaint filed against it by Greenpeace...[Continue]

FSC allows continued slaughter of wild baboons in South African plantationsTags: South Africa, Complaints procedures

The following press release has been issed by South Africa-based NGO, Geasphere

The decision by the FSC Complaints Panel not to uphold the complaint against the mass slaughter of wildlife in certified plantations in South Africa appears to mean that the FSC's complaint procedure, though recently revised, maintains its 100% record of never having resulted in the cancellation of a certificate as a result of a formal complaint.

In response to yet another whitewashing job by the FSC Complaints Process, Geasphere has written a letter to the FSC setting out in detail why the process was seriously flawed - both in terms of the specifics of this case as well as general failures of the complaints procedures...[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]

Another formal complaint against SCA's clearcuts in Sweden - this one from Greenpeace Nordic and SSNCTags: Sweden, Complaints procedures, High Conservation Value Forests, Greenpeace, SGS Qualifor

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and Greenpeace Nordic recently filed a formal complaint with FSC about the logging operations of SCA in northern Sweden. SSNC and Greenpeace Nordic's press release is posted below. The organisations are demanding that SCA's certificate be withdrawn.

These photographs were taken of SCA's logging operations at Ratnivaara, where SCA has already logged 30 hectares of high conservation value forest and is planning to clearcut a further 50 hectares (click on the photographs for larger versions - photos © Olli Manninen):

The following photographs were taken at Norrmyrberget, where SCA has clearcut 28 hectares of mixed coniferous and deciduous forest...[Continue]

Call for cancellation of NORFOR certificateTags: Galicia, Spain, Plantations, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, Complaints procedures, SGS Qualifor

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]

FSC Ireland: 'failure at all levels', and now a formal complaint against IFCITags: Ireland, Certifier conflict of interest, Complaints procedures, FSC Secretariat, Soil Association Woodmark

FSC-Watch has reported several times on the on-going problems with the FSC certification of the Irish state forestry company, Coillte. The conflict over this particular certificate is but one of many such conflicts worldwide, but in some ways it exemplifies the worst of the FSC. Amongst Irish stakeholders, the FSC is becoming a bye-word for incompetence, foot-dragging and obstruction. FSC's activities in Ireland have now sparked a formal complaint though, as FSC-Watch has reported, given the state of FSC's complaints' procedures, it is difficult to see how or if this could bring a satisfactory resolution to a problem that has now been festering for nearly 8 years...[Continue]

FSC's complaints procedures in chaosTags: Worldwide, Complaints procedures

One of the essential components of a credible certification scheme is that there must be some kind of mechanism such that stakeholders who dispute decisions about certification standards, specific certificates or other matters, can challenge them and seek redress. FSC's handling of complaints has been abysmal for many years, but now it seems to be in total disarray. Apart from anything else, FSC is probably not currently compliant with the requirements of ISEAL, the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance, to which the FSC is affiliated...[Continue]

Update on complaint to FSC about SmartWood certification of Rimbunan Hijau subsidiaryTags: Papua New Guinea, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Complaints procedures

FSC-Watch recently received this update on the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum's complaint to FSC over the Smartwood certification of Rimbunan Hijau subsidiary, Ernslaw One:

UPDATE: FSC Certification of Rimbunan Hijau in New Zealand/Aotearoa

In 2004 the Papua New Guinea Eco-Forestry Forum ("The Forum") instigated complaints against the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of the plantation management operations of Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau (RH) in New Zealand...[Continue]

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