FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC Friday #5: FSC 'Frosty' Friday also World Eco-debt DayTags: South Africa, FSC Friday, WWF

FSC-Watch received this from Wally Menne, a member of Timberwatch in South Africa, questioning what, exactly, FSC is celebrating on "FSC Friday":

FSC 'Frosty' Friday also World Eco-debt Day

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) has declared today "FSC FRIDAY" as part of a campaign to boost its reputation in the face of growing criticism of its 'greenwashing' of unsustainable logging of the world's rapidly diminishing forests, as well as its efforts to certify vast new areas of socially and ecologically destructive tree plantations as "responsibly managed forests"! (see www.fsc-watch.org)

It is abundantly clear that the driving force behind the environmental plagues troubling humanity - in particular Climate Change - is little more than old fashioned greed, manifesting itself in the form of the gross overconsumption of energy and material goods by the wealthy of the world...[Continue]

'FSC Friday' #1: 'Can we trust the FSC?', asks The Ecologist MagazineTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, WWF, Greenpeace

This is the first of a series of articles which will be posted in the run-up to 'FSC Friday' (September 25th), with which FSC-Watch aims to highlight some of the on-going problems with FSC certifications.

The world's leading environmental magazine, the Ecologist, has today published a major feature article on the FSC. The article questions the role of FSC in certiyfing plantations, raises doubts about how 'multi-stakeholder' an organisation FSC really is, and questions the motivations of some of the big NGO members of the organisation, including WWF and Greenpeace...[Continue]

WWF pulls the plug on Barama, former FSC star performerTags: Guyana, WWF, SGS Qualifor

WWF has finalised its forced retreat from supporting one of South America's most notorious logging companies, and now says it believes that the Guyana-based Barama would not be able to regain the FSC certificate that was 'suspended' in 2007.

FSC-Watch is glad to learn that the local chapter of WWF is 'reviewing' its policy on supporting private logging companies - something which the WWF should reconsider worldwide - but wonders how the 'fatal flaws' in Barama's logging operations were not identified at the time by its certifier, SGS?

The following report comes from the Guyanese newspaper, Starbroek news...[Continue]

Greenpeace report torpedoes WWF's leading African FSC hopefulTags: Democratic Republic of Congo, WWF, SGS Qualifor

Back in December 2006, we reported on the curious announcement by German multinational timber company, Danzer, about its intention to 'cooperate' with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in order to get its massive Congolese logging operations FSC certified. Less than two years ago, Per Rosenberg, Director of WWF's Global Forest and Trade Network gushingly proclaimed that "We believe that the cooperation between WWF and Danzer represents an important shift towards responsible forestry for some of the world's most threatened forests in the Congo Basin...[Continue]

"Forest liars" campaign launched against environmental groups supporting FSCTags: Worldwide, FSC membership, Rainforest Action Network, WWF

Recently, Glen Barry of the Ecological Internet, launched an email action against organisations that support FSC. "Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC, Forest Ethics, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Alliance were called upon to immediately end their support for the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) greenwashing of first time logging of primary and old-growth forests", states Barry in a press release...[Continue]

Nicaragua: Global Witness raises doubts over legality of FSC certified operationsTags: Nicaragua, WWF, Legality, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The most recent report of the official Independent Forest Monitor in Nicaragua, the London-based NGO Global Witness, has once again called into question the ability of FSC's accredited certifiers to detect illegalities in certified forestry operations. The December 2007 report notes that "The Monitor was not able to detect a significantly different level of legal compliance between certified and uncertified forest".

Global Witness has directly accused one of the certified operations, Hermanos Ubeda, of illegal logging...[Continue]

SCA gets top ranking from WWFTags: Sweden, High Conservation Value Forests, WWF

A few weeks ago, FSC-Watch reported that the Swedish Society for Nature conservation (SSNC) had made a formal complaint to FSC about SCA's logging operations in Northern Sweden. We've also raised concerns about WWF's close relationships with logging companies.

WWF, it seems, is getting very cosy with SCA. In September 2007, WWF and SCA Hygiene signed a 10 million marketing deal allowing SCA to put WWF's panda logo on its packs of Velvet toilet tissue...[Continue]

Barama, Guyana: WWF's 'suspended' star performer in South America accused by President of giant timber scamTags: Guyana, WWF, Legality, SGS Qualifor

At the start of this year, FSC-Watch reported on the 'suspension' of the FSC certificate of Malaysian-owned Guyanese logging company, Barama. A statement issued today by the President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, who accuses Barama of "fraud", will come as a further embarrassment to supporters of the certificate.

One of the issues which the 'suspension' of Barama's certificate raised was the extent to which the FSC system is able or unable to detect high-level fraud and corruption associated with companies seeking certification...[Continue]

Zurich fails to specify FSC - does this mean Raubbau?Tags: Switzerland, Hungary, WWF, Procurement policies

Last week, an interesting article appeared in the Swiss newspaper, the Tagesanzeiger. FC Zurich has just opened a new stadium, called the Letzigrund. The city promised an ecological stadium, but the wood used is not FSC certified. WWF claims that without an FSC certificate, there is no guarantee that the wood doesn't come from destructive operations ("Raubbau" in German).


The wood used is Robinia pseudoacacia from Hungary. Gerriet Harms, the owner of the firm that supplied the wood, denies that the wood comes from Raubbau and argues that it's better to use "controlled" hardwood from Central Europe than to use FSC-certified tropical hardwood...[Continue]

WWF responds to Peru scandalTags: Peru, WWF

Following queries from FSC-Watch, WWF International has asked us to 'correct' the article we posted a few days ago concerning the scandalous certification of Forestal Venao, Peru. In fact, WWF's helpful clarification of its role does not require us to 'correct' the article, but we are anyway happy to include the WWF response below in full.

As readers will see, WWF's response not only confirms what we published earlier, but also corroborates from another source that SmartWood was well aware of serious concerns about Venao before they issued their certificate - but proceded to issue it nevertheless...[Continue]

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