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]

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]

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]

Laos: FSC certified timber is illegalTags: Laos, Legality, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

By Chris Lang. Published in WRM Bulletin 110, September 2006.

When a forestry operation is certified under the Forest Stewardship Council system, it should mean we can all relax in the knowledge that the forests are reasonably well managed. Unfortunately, it seems, this is not the case. SmartWood, an FSC accredited certifier, recently forestry operations forestry operations in Laos which are producing timber that is illegal under the Lao Forestry Law...[Continue]

FSC and the nightmare vision of forestry in the USTags: USA, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

This was sent by Jon Mohler, October 2006

The West Coast Green homebuilding conference in San Francisco in September attracted 8,000 attendees, most of them groping toward a solution to this problem: Forty percent of world industrial output goes toward construction. The United States, for example, consumes 27% of the planet's wood products, mostly for house construction. Most construction commodities receive little evaluation of their environmental impacts, and people at the conference were anxious for guidance.

Into the breach stepped the Rainforest Alliance (RA), headquartered in New York...[Continue]

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