FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Rainforest 'Death' Alliance SmartWood targeted in protest at ancient forest destructionTags: Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Braving sub-zero temperatures and wearing gorilla and bird costumes, a group of New York City environmentalists rallied outside the headquarters of Rainforest Alliance last week, demanding an end to the organization's certification of old-growth industrial logging.

Rainforest Alliance was host to a 'Green Leaders' cocktail party and had prepared a statement repeating their position in favor of industrial logging of the worlds remaining old-growth forests. Environmental activists, including members of the New York Climate Action Group, engaged partygoers and passersby about the 'greenwash' of old-growth forest destruction by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood...[Continue]

Nicaragua: Global Witness raises doubts over legality of FSC certified operationsTags: Nicaragua, WWF, Legality, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The most recent report of the official Independent Forest Monitor in Nicaragua, the London-based NGO Global Witness, has once again called into question the ability of FSC's accredited certifiers to detect illegalities in certified forestry operations. The December 2007 report notes that "The Monitor was not able to detect a significantly different level of legal compliance between certified and uncertified forest".

Global Witness has directly accused one of the certified operations, Hermanos Ubeda, of illegal logging...[Continue]

Hancock Victoria Plantations, Australia: SmartWood continues to discredit FSCTags: Australia, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

FSC dumps Asia Pulp and Paper - but who was to blame?Tags: Indonesia, Certifier conflict of interest, Mixed sources labelling, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood, SGS Qualifor

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]

Rainforest Alliance to launch new certification scheme to rival FSCTags: Worldwide, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

SmartWood and Tembec: into the 'black hole' of disinformationTags: Canada, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

Colombia: Is the FSC Seal Applied to Blood-Stained Timber?Tags: Colombia, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

SmartWood issues another controversial certificate to TembecTags: Canada, High Conservation Value Forests, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

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]

SmartWood's certification of TemRex criticisedTags: Canada, Corrective Action Requests, Hoped-for improvements, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Last month, SmartWood awarded an FSC certificate to TemRex's industrial logging operations in Quebec, Canada. The certificate came with 26 outstanding "corrective action requests" (with which the company has to comply at some point in the future), 20 "observations" (which are voluntary) and 10 "notes for future auditors".

FSC-watch received this from Bob Eichenberger with the subject line "bullshit in Gaspésie":

To all good foresters

The Forest Stewardship Council was a great idea and carried a lot of hope to anyone who read through the ten principles concerning the integrity of the forest ecosystems, the rights of rural and native peoples, biodiversity and so on...[Continue]

SmartWood misled US local authority over FSC timberTags: USA, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

In the New Jersey town of Ocean City, controversy has been raging about the City Council's planned use of more than a hundred thousand board feet of FSC-certified rainforest timber. The City Council is planning to use the Amazonian wood ipe (pronounced 'ee-pay') for a major renewal of its sea-front boardwalks. Many local people - supported by the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club - are opposed to the use of rainforest timber, and have been asking the City Council to use more environmentally acceptable alternatives...[Continue]

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