FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

The FSC in picturesTags: Worldwide, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, USA

It is customary in many organisations to give out-going staff a photo-album showing the person's accomplishments, for them to cherish in future years. We can't do that for Heiko Liedeker, who is finally departing as FSC Executive Director, but what we would like to do with this posting is to show some of what has gone so badly wrong in the past - and what we expect the new Executive Director to put right.

We invite our readers to submit any other photographs that they would like to contribute!

Click on the image for an even clearer picture of what FSC has certified...[Continue]

Veracel: FSC's 'Death Certificate'Tags: Brazil, Plantations, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

World Rainforest Movement expresses strong criticism of the FSC in its statement reacting to the news that Veracel's monoculture eucalyptus plantations are now FSC certified. WRM notes that Veracel is the "last piece in a chain of failures" by FSC.

At the time of the company's assessment by SGS in September 2007, WRM warned that the possible certification of Veracel placed FSC 'at the crossroads'...[Continue]

FSC chain of custody no guarantee against timber smuggling in the Mekong RegionTags: Vietnam, UK, Chain of Custody, Legality, SGS Qualifor

Today, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telepak release a report about illegal logging in the Mekong Region. The report, titled "Borderlines: Vietnam's Booming Furniture Industry and Timber Smuggling in the Mekong Region" documents how timber is illegally transported from Laos to Vietnam, where it is made into furniture. Furniture exports from Vietnam are expanding dramatically, relying on huge quantities of illegally-logged timber from Laos and Cambodia...[Continue]

FSC crisis grows as major Swedish NGO withdrawsTags: Sweden, national initiatives

One of FSC's long-term NGO supporters, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), has said that it will immediately withdraw from the national FSC initiative, noting that "forest certification not good enough". The announcement yesterday from Sweden will be another major blow to FSC: at nearly 11 million hectares, the country has the third largest certified area, after Canada and Russia. Following SSNC's observation that the Swedish FSC standard "is weak [and] the lack of observance is substantial", the credibility of more than 10 per cent of FSC's global total is now called into question...[Continue]

How Accreditation Services International (FSC-ASI) allows certifiers to break FSC's rules and issue certificates to non-compliant companiesTags: Ireland, Accreditation controls, Soil Association Woodmark

In the past, FSC-Watch has been welcoming towards the work of Accreditation Services International (ASI), the FSC body which is supposed to ensure that the FSC's Principles and Criteria are upheld by the accredited certifiers. There is no doubt that monitoring of the certifiers has improved in recent years. But, for every audit of the certifiers carried out by ASI, there has been a failure to take meaningful action - even in cases where certifiers have been found by ASI to have issued certificates to blatantly non-compliant forest managers...[Continue]

How the FSC broke, then further weakened, its rules on pesticidesTags: Ireland, Pesticides, Accreditation controls, national initiatives, Plantations, Soil Association Woodmark

In December 2006, FSC-Watch reported on how the FSC had bowed to pressure from the plantation industry to 'freeze' implementation of its pesticides policy, which prohibits the use of a chemicals included on FSC's 'banned' list. Under a decision taken by the International Board, FSC decided to extend until the end of June 2007 the deadline by which forestry companies had to apply for special 'derogation' permission to continue using banned chemicals...[Continue]

FSC certification of US public forest lands: the warnings from MichiganTags: USA, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, SCS

Debate is growing in the US about the certification of public forests with FSC and the so-called Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) being the front-running schemes. There are good reasons to question whether, in its current state, FSC is an appropriate tool for certification of the vast areas of forest which are in state and federal public ownership in the US, and which in many cases have very high values for recreational, cultural and nature protection purposes. Some of the potential problems are starkly illustrated by one of the existing major FSC certifications of public forest lands, that of the 1.6 million hectares of the Michigan state forests as managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...[Continue]

"Forest liars" campaign launched against environmental groups supporting FSCTags: Worldwide, FSC membership, Rainforest Action Network, WWF

Recently, Glen Barry of the Ecological Internet, launched an email action against organisations that support FSC. "Greenpeace, WWF, Rainforest Action Network, NRDC, Forest Ethics, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Alliance were called upon to immediately end their support for the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) greenwashing of first time logging of primary and old-growth forests", states Barry in a press release...[Continue]

Military Police violently evict women protesters from Stora Enso's plantations in BrazilTags: Brazil, Plantations

On Tuesday, 4th March 2008, about 900 women from the International Peasant Movement Via Campesina were violently evicted by the Military Police from an area of 2,100 hectares of Stora Enso's plantations at the Tarumã Farm in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. According to a statement from Via Campesina about 60 women were badly injured and 800 were arrested. Meanwhile, 250 children at the camp were separated from their parents. Tents were destroyed and tools taken from the women.

The women were protesting against Stora Enso's monoculture eucalyptus plantations, which the company is currently establishing in Rio Grande do Sul...[Continue]

FSC wood debacle lands city authority in courtTags: USA, Brazil, Procurement policies, Mixed sources labelling, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A US timber company is suing a New Jersey city authority over its cancellation of a controversial order of FSC certified lumber for repair of its ocean-front boardwalks. In the latest development in this long-running debacle, which has exposed gaping weaknesses in the FSC's Chain of Custody system, the Louis Grasmick Lumber company of Baltimore has said that it will sue the Ocean City authorities for $1.2 million

Local environmental campaigners have long opposed the use by Ocean City of Amazonian ipe wood for the city boardwalk renovation project...[Continue]

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