We reproduce below a posting which appeared yesterday on Understory, the official blog of the Rainforest Action Network.
Forest Stewardship Council Credibility on Thin Ice
posted by Brant in Grassy Narrows, Old Growth, RAN General on October 31st, 2007
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal included coverage of "growing pains" at the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Jim Carleton quotes me saying "It's a question of how do we improve the system, not whether we can keep the system.....[Continue]
As previously reported on FSC-Watch, the certification of the Spanish industrial plantation company, NORFOR, has caused widespread concern, which a recent FSC inspection
of the company's certifier, SGS, has only served to heighten. Despite finding clear non-compliances with FSC's Principles and Criteria, the certificate remains in place.
Greenpeace Spain has now launched a letter-writing campaign against SGS, asking the certifier to "stop damaging the good name of the FSC start an in-depth review towards improving the professional quality of your audits, evaluation methodology and, especially, the company's ethical code." The 'cyber-action' campaign, in both Spanish and English, also cites other SGS controversial certificates, including in Guyana and Poland...[Continue]
The Wall Street Journal today ran the following story, the original of which is available here
FSC's 'Green' Label for Wood Products Gets Growing Pains
By TOM WRIGHT and JIM CARLTON
October 30, 2007
The environmental group that runs a widely recognized labeling system to identify "green" wood and paper products has acknowledged that some companies using its label are destroying pristine forests and says it plans to overhaul its rules...[Continue]
In March 2007, FSC-watch posted the 'verdict' of the Peoples' Permanent Tribunal on the company Pizano SA, which had been FSC certified by SmartWood. The Peoples' Permanent Tribunal had been investigating the environmental and social impacts of companies in Colombia. Here's some more information about this FSC-certified company from Miguel Ángel Soto, Greenpeace Spain, and Tom Kuchartz, Ecologistas en Acción...[Continue]
The FSC certification of large-scale industrial logging operations continues. A year ago, FSC-watch posted a critique of the certification of Tembec's logging operations in Canada.
Earlier this month, another one of Tembec's logging operations was certified, also by SmartWood. This post was written by David Nickarz, a forest activist in Winnipeg, Canada:
Tembec gets green logo in Manitoba
On October 11 2007, Tembec held an Open House seeking input into their 2009 to 2028 twenty year logging plan...[Continue]
Following FSC-Watch's post questioning FSC's position on genetically modified trees, (and an article in the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin), the Stop GE Trees Campaign has written to Heiko Liedeker requesting clarification. Copies of the letter have also been sent to FSC's Board and to Andre de Freitas, FSC's Head of Policy and Standards...[Continue]
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]
At the end of last year, FSC-Watch reported on the certification of the Galician plantation company, NORFOR. The company has been the source of much controversy and opposition from local people. Following an investigation into NORFOR's certifier, SGS, FSC's own Accreditation Services International has now reported that environmental concerns were justified, and that the company was non-compliant with FSC's Principles and Criteria...[Continue]
FSC-Watch has reported numerous times on the shambles that is the FSC's Irish Forest Certification Initiative (IFCI), and the associated certificate issued to the state forestry company, Coillte. After more than six years of discussion, consuming copious amounts of funding and stakeholders' effort, IFCI has still failed to come up with a credible national standard.
Coillte, which controls 8% of the nation's land, was certified in 2001 under a weak draft national standard...[Continue]
FSC-Watch has received unconfirmed reports that the Italian certification company ICILA has issued a certificate to the Cameroonian Groupe SEFAC, which is owned by Italian timber company Vasto Legno. Although the Public Summary report of the certification is not yet available on ICILA's website, sufficient details have already emerged to suggest that this will come as yet another major blow to FSC's credibility.
The Vasto Legno subsidiary SEFAC (Société d'Exploitations Forestières et Agricoles du Cameroun), has been logging in the rainforests Cameroon's Eastern province for more than three decades...[Continue]