FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Update on complaint to FSC about SmartWood certification of Rimbunan Hijau subsidiaryTags: Papua New Guinea, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Complaints procedures

FSC-Watch recently received this update on the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum's complaint to FSC over the Smartwood certification of Rimbunan Hijau subsidiary, Ernslaw One:

UPDATE: FSC Certification of Rimbunan Hijau in New Zealand/Aotearoa

In 2004 the Papua New Guinea Eco-Forestry Forum ("The Forum") instigated complaints against the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of the plantation management operations of Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau (RH) in New Zealand...[Continue]

Response from SmartWood re LaosTags: Laos, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

SmartWood's Richard Donovan sent this response to my email dated 11 January 2006. This is not the audit report, as Donovan promised by 22 January 2006 in his response to my email. "Review of our final audit report draft is still underway in Laos," Donovan says in yesterday's statement (below)...[Continue]

Human rights abuses, land conflicts, broken promises – the reality of carbon 'offset' projects in UgandaTags: Uganda, SGS Qualifor

World Rainforest Movement recently published a report I wrote with Timothy Byakola of the Ugandan NGO Climate Development Initiatives, about an FSC-certified carbon sink project at Mount Elgon in Uganda. The report, "'A funny place to store carbon': UWA-FACE Foundation's tree planting project in Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda", includes a section on the SGS-Qualifor certification of the project.

Under the project, which is funded by a Dutch organisation called the FACE Foundation, trees are planted to absorb carbon and the carbon is sold to people who want to offset their carbon emissions through flying...[Continue]

FSC audit of SGS leads to suspension of largest tropical logging certificateTags: Guyana, Accreditation controls, Certifier conflict of interest, Partial certification, WWF, SGS Qualifor

It was announced today that FSC’s largest certificate for tropical forest management, had been suspended. The certificate, issued by SGS-Qualifor to the Barama company, the Guyanese subsidiary of the controversial Malaysian-based logging transnational, Samling, was put on hold following an investigation by the FSC’s Accreditation Service International (ASI) in November 2006.

The announcement will come as a particular embarrassment to WWF. In March 2006, when Barama received their certificate, WWF proclaimed it as a "record-setting accomplishment for tropical forest conservation in South America"...[Continue]

E-mail to Richard Donovan (Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood)Tags: Laos, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Subject: FSC in Laos
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 09:52:45 +0100
From: Chris Lang
To: Richard Donovan (Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood)
CC: smartwood@....id, FSC-Watch, Ricardo Carrere (WRM)

Dear Mr Donovan,

On 2 October 2006, you and Loy Jones (Asia Pacific Regional Manager, Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood) issued a statement about an article I'd written for the World Rainforest Movement...[Continue]

FSC fails to uphold Indigenous Rights at Mount Elgon, UgandaTags: Uganda, SGS Qualifor

Since 1994, a Dutch organisation called the FACE Foundation has been planting trees in Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda. The FACE Foundation aims to sell carbon credits based on the amount of carbon stored in the trees planted. FACE aims to plant a total of 25,000 hectares of which 8,500 hectares has been planted.

In Uganda, the FACE Foundation works with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA), the organisation responsible for managing Uganda's National Parks.

In March 2002, SGS Qualifor certified the UWA-FACE project under the FSC system...[Continue]

FSC back-tracking on pesticides; Board caves in to industry pressure?Tags: Worldwide, Ireland, Pesticides

As with the development of many other FSC policies, the finalisation of its policy on the use of pesticides has been long and complicated. But at least it seemed to have come to a fairly clear result, when a new policy, and clear guidelines for implementing it, were adopted by the FSC Board at the end of 2005. But this has again all been thrown into doubt, following the most recent FSC Board meeting, which was attended and heavily lobbied by an industry delegation.

Under the rules established in 2005, substances that are defined as ‘highly hazardous’ are ‘banned’ from use in FSC-certified forests...[Continue]

Accredited certifier suspendedTags: Chile, Accreditation controls, IMO

For only the second time in its 13-year history, the FSC has suspended the accreditation of one of its certifiers.

However, as with most of FSC's dealings with the certifiers, the reasons for the suspension of the Swiss based Institut für Marktökologie (IMO), on 22nd September, are not entirely clear. All that the FSC Secretariat has said is that the decision was taken against IMO "for performing new evaluations and issuing new FSC forest management certificates in Chile" - and even this information was buried in an unassuming document on FSC's website...[Continue]

On the road to nowhere? The dangers of certifying ‘hoped-for’ improvements in the Czech RepublicTags: Czech Republic, Hoped-for improvements, Corrective Action Requests, Soil Association Woodmark

When Soil Association WoodMark re-certified the 10,000 hectares of Masarykův les Křtiny (ŠLP), a State-owned forest in the Czech Republic in 2004 (which had first been certified in 1997), one of the notable features of the Public Summary report was the number of times in which the phrase “to be implemented immediately on certification” was used in relation to the numerous Corrective Action Requests issued. In other words, SLP had not actually achieved whatever standards WoodMark used to assess them (there was no national FSC Standard in the Czech Republic at the time of the assessment), but would hopefully achieve them afterwards...[Continue]

WWF, Tropical Forest Trust, and Perhutani: more unanswered questionsTags: Indonesia, WWF, Tropical Forest Trust, Partial certification, Soil Association Woodmark

Some readers of FSC-Watch will no doubt have been surprised to learn that the UK-based NGO Soil Association has, through it's subsidiary certification body WoodMark, started the process of certifying parts of the notorious Indonesian plantation company Perhutani.

More surprising still, perhaps, is the news that WWF has also been collaborating with Perhutani, which stands accused of gross human rights violations. WWF recently allowed Perhutani to join the prestigious Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) - though WWF have not disclosed how much money Perhutani have paid for this privilege...[Continue]

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