FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

"Latvia's pulp fiction": AlJazeera programme on FSC and destructive logging in LatviaTags: Latvia, Corrective Action Requests, High Conservation Value Forests, Hoped-for improvements, Suspended certificates, Controlled wood, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A programme this week on AlJazeera's People and Power reports on destructive logging in Latvia - including the fact that FSC-certified Latvian timber is still on sale in the UK, despite the fact that the FSC certified was suspended on 16 July 2010.

During 2009 and 2010, the FSC-certified Latvian state logging company, Latvijas Valsts Mezi, doubled the area of forest logged from 15,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares each year. Rainforest Alliance, the FSC certifying body, carried out an audit in June 2010, and found that "the harvesting level in 2009/2010 far exceed the long term sustainable level." As AlJazeera's film reveals, this is something of a euphemism...[Continue]

Thousands of Indigenous People evicted from FSC-certified Mount Elgon National Park, UgandaTags: Uganda, Indigenous Peoples, Hoped-for improvements, SGS Qualifor

In 2007, SGS Qualifor certified Mount Elgon National Park as "well managed" under the FSC system. Accreditation Services International found that SGS Qualifor's certification was based on hoped for future improvements, rather than what was actually happening in the National Park. ASI, however, failed to take any meaningful action against SGS Qualifor.

In February 2008, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the agency responsible for managing Uganda's national parks, evicted more than 4,000 people from the indigenous Benet and Ndorobo communities living in Mount Elgon National Park...[Continue]

SmartWood's certification of TemRex criticisedTags: Canada, Corrective Action Requests, Hoped-for improvements, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Last month, SmartWood awarded an FSC certificate to TemRex's industrial logging operations in Quebec, Canada. The certificate came with 26 outstanding "corrective action requests" (with which the company has to comply at some point in the future), 20 "observations" (which are voluntary) and 10 "notes for future auditors".

FSC-watch received this from Bob Eichenberger with the subject line "bullshit in Gaspésie":

To all good foresters

The Forest Stewardship Council was a great idea and carried a lot of hope to anyone who read through the ten principles concerning the integrity of the forest ecosystems, the rights of rural and native peoples, biodiversity and so on...[Continue]

WoodMark pioneers 'continuous deterioration' certification in IrelandTags: Ireland, Hoped-for improvements, Plantations, Soil Association Woodmark

Finally, as the FSC's inspectors arrive at its doors for its annual accreditation inspection, Soil Association WoodMark has produced the long-awaited and overdue report of its 2006 surveillance of controversial Irish state forestry company, Coillte.

Many people, not the least Irish environmental and social stakeholders, will be disappointed that WoodMark has failed to cancel the certificate outright, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Coillte's non-compliance with FSC's Principles and Criteria. But what is revealing about the report is the number of 'Correction Action Requests' that WoodMark has had to issue in order to keep the certificate alive...[Continue]

Ireland: embarrassment mounts for Soil AssociationTags: Ireland, Plantations, Hoped-for improvements, Certifier conflict of interest, Soil Association Woodmark

More than three months after its most recent surveillance visit, Soil Association Woodmark has still failed to produce a Public Summary report stating whether, or under what conditions, it believes that the Irish state forestry company, Coillte, can remain FSC-certified.

Soil Association Woodmark took over the already controversial certification of Coillte's 400,000+ hectares of mostly exotic plantations from SGS in 2004. Since then, increasing evidence has been presented to Woodmark about Coillte's non-compliance with the FSC Principles and Criteria...[Continue]

On the road to nowhere? The dangers of certifying ‘hoped-for’ improvements in the Czech RepublicTags: Czech Republic, Hoped-for improvements, Corrective Action Requests, Soil Association Woodmark

When Soil Association WoodMark re-certified the 10,000 hectares of Masarykův les Křtiny (ŠLP), a State-owned forest in the Czech Republic in 2004 (which had first been certified in 1997), one of the notable features of the Public Summary report was the number of times in which the phrase “to be implemented immediately on certification” was used in relation to the numerous Corrective Action Requests issued. In other words, SLP had not actually achieved whatever standards WoodMark used to assess them (there was no national FSC Standard in the Czech Republic at the time of the assessment), but would hopefully achieve them afterwards...[Continue]