On 30th October, more than 75 environmental organisations from 25 countries wrote a letter to the Executive Director of FSC, Heiko Liedeker, and the FSC's International Board, calling for urgent improvements to the FSC system. The groups include WWF International, Greenpeace International, Birdlife Internationl, Friends of the Earth UK, the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense.
The groups identify in their letter that "the performance of the [FSC's accredited] certification bodies has played a critical role in [the] erosion of FSC's credibility because in too many cases certificates have been issued that raised significant opposition among FSC members"...[Continue]
SmartWood's certificate for plantation outfit Prime Forestry Panama was suspended in May 2006, but SmartWood noted at the time that:
"From February 2003 to September 2005, SmartWood carried out 5 on-site audits of Prime Forestry Panama (August 2003, April and September 2004, March and Sept 2005). Through these audits PFP provided evidence that nonconformances were being addressed and demonstrated ongoing compliance with SmartWood and FSC certification requirements."
However, far from being a sustainable forestry operation worthy of an FSC certifcate, it later transpires (see article below from Noriegaville) that the company is a front for a financial scam which has been banned from trading in some of the world's major financial centres...[Continue]
In June 2006, I received a leaked report written by a consultant to a World Bank- Finnish government-funded "village forestry" project in Laos. About 50,000 hectares of the project area had been certified by SmartWood in January 2006. The report documented serious breaches of FSC principles and criteria, particularly the fact that the consultant found that logs were not marked properly. "Tracing and chain of custody of trees/logs is therefore impossible," commented the consultant...[Continue]
The following article by Philippe Chibani-Jacquot first appeared on novethic.fr, in October, 2006 (*)
The decision to maintain the FSC label awarded to the first certified concession in Central Africa continues to make waves among environmentalists. The certification gained by the Wijma-Douala company is encouraging other companies to commence the same process.
Since December 2005, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a sustainable forest management label, has been facing criticism from the Cameroon NGO, the Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement (CED/Centre for the Environment and Development), Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth-France...[Continue]
A growing number of FSC members feel increasingly uncomfortable with the organisation's poor performance, indicated by numerous unacceptable certifications and lack of timely and effective action in solving problems. Some FSC members already sense that they are party to a 'deception of consumers' and have lost trust in the organisation that they have long supported as members.
What can you do as member of an organisation that you believe has gone out of control? Leaving would be one choice. Some still believe in the original aims of the FSC, and they don't want to leave the organisation...[Continue]
In 2003, Brazil's Aracruz bought Klabin's Riocell pulp operations in Rio Grande do Sul. The 400,000 tonnes a year pulp mill came with 40,000 hectares of FSC-certified plantations.
Aracruz is among the most controversial pulp companies in the world. It has an ongoing dispute with indigenous people and quilombolas in Espirito Santo province. The company is currently carrying out a racist campaign aiming to turn the population of Espirito Santo against the indigenous people...[Continue]
In July 2006, FSC put out a statement in response to World Rainforest Movement's publication "Greenwash: Critical analysis of FSC certification of industrial tree monocultures in Uruguay".
FSC's statement is titled, "FSC guarantees peace of mind to consumers". FSC based its statement on responses from the two certifying bodies involved, SmartWood and SGS.
But FSC's "Peace of mind" statement indicates clearly what's wrong with FSC. Instead of listening to its critics and investigating the problems described, FSC is listening to its certifying bodies, who have an interest in covering over any problems...[Continue]
The following article first appeared in ‘noseweek’, December, 2005
With the year-end silly season just around the bend, NoseArk have turned our collective thoughts towards trees. Christmas trees, as you might have guessed.
A long-lost hippy connection of ours, last seen farming dirt under his toenails in the Eastern Cape, once told us that the reason pine trees came to be associated with Christmas was because, in northern Europe, they shelter hallucinogenic mushrooms...[Continue]
The certification by the Soil Association in 2001 of Presov Forest District (PFD, part of the state forestry service) in Slovakia, has always been controversial.
Local environmental groups, such as WOLF/Friends of the Earth Slovakia have long argued that PFD was in gross non-compliance with the FSC's Principles and Criteria. They provided detailed, Principle-by-Principle critiques of PFD's operations, both before and after the certificate was issued, detailing multiple failures to comply with the P&C...[Continue]
This posting has been provided by 'Irish Environmental and Social Stakeholders'
Coillte, the Irish State forestry company which has been FSC certified since 2001, owns 1.1 million acres of some of the wildest and most beautiful parts of Ireland, holding and managing the land in the name of the people of Ireland.
That’s the theory anyway.
Coillte was established under the 1988 Forestry Act, and came into being at the beginning of 1989. All forest land under control of the State's Land Commission was passed to the "semi-state" Coillte Teoranta...[Continue]