FSC-Watch has received the following announcement from the Chair of the FSC Board.
The FSC Board of Directors regrets to announce the unexpected decision of the Executive Director, Mr. Heiko Liedeker to step down after more than six years of successful leadership of the FSC and thanks him wholeheartedly for his outstanding commitment and contribution. Upon request of the FSC Board of Directors, Heiko Liedeker will continue to manage the FSC until a successor is successfully recruited.
When Heiko came to the FSC in September 2001 the organization was in severe financial straits...[Continue]
In a move that will further add to FSC's woes, the biggest of its accredited 'certifiers', Rainforest Alliance SmartWood, has announced plans to launch it's own 'logging certification' scheme, which is closely modelled on the FSC. In a consultation document circulated recently by SmartWood, the organisation claimed that it "remains an unequivocal, global supporter of the FSC system as the most credible forest certification system" but then, before introducing the proposed rival system, goes on to say that "we also believe that the FSC system can be improved"...[Continue]
FSC-Watch earlier reported on the certification of more areas of Tembec's vast logging operations in Canada, making it the largest of all FSC certified companies and no doubt earning it's certifier, SmartWood, substantial fees. David Nickarz, a forest activist in Winnipeg, has been challenging Rainforest Alliance over this certificate. Other forest activists that have questioned SmartWood (there are many of them) will understand what David means by the 'black hole' of disinformation that he refers to in the blog article below, which describes his experiences in 'complaining' to SmartWood...[Continue]
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]