FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

A Critique of the Tembec Certifications, FSC's largest certified companyTags: Canada, Corrective Action Requests, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

This article was supplied by Mary Bull, of the Greenwood Earth Alliance

The Forest Stewardship Council certifications of Tembec Industries Inc on vast areas of Canadian forest land have involved many of the typical flaws and failures of FSC certification documented throughout this web site. These certifications cover large industrial-scale operations involving massive clearcutting and even-aged management, with the certification awarded on the basis of future reforms, and in some cases, future standards...[Continue]

A Million Acres of Clearcuts and Pesticide Use "Certified" in Canada and MaineTags: USA, Canada, Complaints procedures, SCS

This article was submitted by Mary Pjerrou, Greenwood Earth Alliance, .com

The Forest Stewardship Council certification of nearly one million acres of the J.D. Irving company's forest holdings, its clear-cutting practices and widespread use of pesticides, in Canada and in the state of Maine, both by Scientific Certification Systems, (SCS) of Oakland, California, exemplify the abuses and failures of the FSC certification process that have made the FSC label an unreliable guide for consumers who want to purchase wood from well-managed forests...[Continue]

Green groups call for urgent reform of the FSC - certifiers 'eroding credibility'Tags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, All certifiers

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]

The FSC, Panamanian teak plantations, and the mafiaTags: Panama, Legality, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

Laos: SmartWood certifies "village forestry"Tags: Laos, Tropical Forest Trust, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

Cameroon: Wijma still certified, as official observer finds new illegalitiesTags: Cameroon, Corrective Action Requests, Wijma, Legality, Eurocertifor

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]

'Abstention Protest' within FSC: Some Members refuse to vote for Board candidatesTags: Southern, Ecuador, FSC membership

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]

Aracruz, SmartWood, FSC and a conflict of interestTags: Brazil, Partial certification, Plantations, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

Uruguay: FSC cannot guarantee peace of mindTags: Uruguay, Plantations, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood, SGS Qualifor

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]

Selling South Africa's Forests down the Elands RiverTags: South Africa, Plantations, Mixed sources labelling, SGS Qualifor

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]

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