We have been asked to publish the following article, by Anthony Amis of Friends of the Earth Melbourne, Australia.
It highlights some now very familiar themes: failure of SmartWood to comply with the FSC's rules by not publishing its Public Summary reports in a timely manner: certification on the basis of 'hoped-for improvements' rather than performance, and covering up failures to actually improve by continually re-issuing 'Corrective Action Requests'; slowness of the ASI in publishing the reports of it's audits of certifiers where problems are identified...all of which is no doubt good for SmartWood's business, but bad for the FSC's credibility...[Continue]
In December 2007, the FSC announced that it was "dissociating" itself from the giant Sinar Mas-owned Indonesian paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) - see statement below. The news was mostly greeted by the environmental movement, though there is some suspicion that the FSC only took this unusual step because the possible certification of APP had been exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. WWF in particular has issued stinging reports of the company's greewashing of its destruction of forests to feed its pulp mill in Riau province, Sumatra...[Continue]
A few weeks ago, I visited Swaziland, as part of a trip with World Rainforest Movement colleagues. We visited Sappi's stinking, polluting Usutu pulp mill and drove through Sappi's pine monocultures - FSC certified by Woodmark.
Swaziland is a beautiful country...[Continue]
A few weeks ago, FSC-Watch reported that the Swedish Society for Nature conservation (SSNC) had made a formal complaint to FSC about SCA's logging operations in Northern Sweden. We've also raised concerns about WWF's close relationships with logging companies.
WWF, it seems, is getting very cosy with SCA. In September 2007, WWF and SCA Hygiene signed a £10 million marketing deal allowing SCA to put WWF's panda logo on its packs of Velvet toilet tissue...[Continue]
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has issued the following press release about SCA's logging operations in northern Sweden. While this case looks very serious, it is not an isolated incident. SSNC points out that there are several other examples of destructive logging operations, by SCA and other Swedish FSC-certified companies.
Jonas Rudberg, SSNC's forest campaigner says, "The situation in Sweden regarding the forest biodiversity is severe...[Continue]
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]