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]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates #2: SEFAC, CameroonTags: Cameroon, Legality, Suspended certificates, ICILA

Another of the many deeply troubling but now, at least temporarily, vanished FSC certficates exposed by FSC-Watch is that of the rainforest logging 'SEFAC group' in Cameroon. The SEFAC certificate disapeared off FSC's certified forest database sometime during 2009. Neither FSC nor SEFAC itself, nor the logger's certifier, ICILA, provided an explanation for this.

However, the certificate started running into serious trouble already in July 2008, when the FSC's 'certifier watchdog', Accreditation Services International (ASI), carried out a field inspection of the certified company...[Continue]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates, #1: Massachusetts state forestsTags: USA, Suspended certificates, Certifier conflict of interest, SCS

FSC-Watch has several times in the last eighteen months reported on the FSC-certified 'chainsaw massacre' taking place in the state forest lands of Massachusetts, USA. Managed by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), 285,000 acreas of forest had been certified by California-based Scientific Certification Systems Inc (SCS) since 2004.

The Massachusetts DCR certificate 'disappeared' in April 2009, without any explanation from the FSC or the certifier...[Continue]

ENCE loses one certificate in Spain. Soon to lose another in Uruguay?Tags: Uruguay, Spain, Plantations, Suspended certificates, SGS Qualifor

On 19 June 2008, Spanish pulp company ENCE lost its FSC certification in Spain, when its subsidiaries Norte Forestal (Norfor) and Silvasur had their certificate withdrawn. Norfor manages just over 12,000 hectares of industrial tree plantations in the northeast of Spain and Silvasur has almost 70,000 hectares in Andalusia. Both companies were certified by SGS Qualifor in October 2004. The Norfor certificate was questioned by Greenpeace, WWF, the Asociación Pola Defensa Da Ría, Verdegaia, and Association for the Ecological Defence of Galicia...[Continue]

The amazing, disappearing, FSC certificates...Tags: Cameroon, Suspended certificates, Bureau Veritas

Earlier this year, we reported on the 'anomalous' circumstances surrounding the certification of Wijma, a company logging in the rainforests of Cameroon. Wijma's certifier, Bureau Veritas was 'suspended' because of Wijma's certificate, though the certificate itself was allowed to remain in place. Now we learn that, in a complete reversal, Burea Veritas has been 're-accredited' to FSC, but Wijma has mysteriously disappeared off the list of currently certified companies...[Continue]