FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Coillte's pesticide-laden, monocultures are still certifiedTags: Ireland, Plantations, Soil Association Woodmark

The Guardian published a short piece about the FSC certification of Coillte, yesterday in Eco Soundings (30 April 2008).

PHOTO: Wally Menne

The description of Coillte's operations is spot on: "more than a million acres of pesticide-laden, monocultural and exotic Sitka spruce plantations"...[Continue]

Exposed: FSC-certified clear-cutting of Massachusetts public forests, USATags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

A new website launched recently reveals the destruction of Massachusetts public forests by clear-cutting, even though they have been FSC certified. Clearcutting MA Public Lands shows a series of aerial photographs taken by a local activist.

The more than half million acres of Massachusetts Public Forests, including the Savoy Forest, were certified by Scientific Certification Systems Inc, in August 2004. SCS evidently had difficulty in massaging the state public bodies through the certification process: of the 17 'conditions' which SCS had attached to the certificate between 2002, when assessment began, and 2004, only two conditions had been 'closed out' by the time the certificate was issued...[Continue]

Call for cancellation of NORFOR certificateTags: Galicia, Spain, Plantations, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, Complaints procedures, SGS Qualifor

Galician environmental group Verdegaia and a confederation of 300 environmental groups from Spain have demanded that the the FSC certificate of eucalyptus plantation company NORFOR should be immediately cancelled.

As FSC-Watch has previously reported, the certificate has already been the subject of a formal complaint. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in no action by FSC - though FSC continues to maintain the fiction that it has an effective complaints procedure...[Continue]

FACE Foundation makes misleading claims about FSCTags: Uganda, Misleading claims, Carbon offsets, SGS Qualifor

The FACE Foundation, a Dutch carbon offset company, claims on its website that its tree planting projects at Mount Elgon and Kibale national parks in Uganda are both certified by FSC. While Mount Elgon is FSC certified (despite major, ongoing land disptues), the FACE Foundation's project at Kibale is no longer FSC certified...[Continue]

Logging at Clayoquot Sound - thanks to FSCTags: Canada, High Conservation Value Forests, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

During the 1990s, Clayoquot Sound was the site of the largest anti-logging protests in Canada's history. Today FSC certification is legitimising industrial-scale logging in Clayoquot Sound.

FSC-watch recently received the photographs below of logging in Clayoquot Sound. The company involved is Ecotrust Canada, FSC-certified by SmartWood in 2006. "At the core of it all," says Kent Goodyear of Ecotrust, "we encourage the notion of people relating to where they live, and trying to live in a sustainable manner. This is the underlying principle that makes FSC a valuable conservation tool in my work."

The photographs came with the following note:

"How does this warrant FSC certification? It is a recipe for blowdown and slides on these weatherbeaten coastal mountains, not to mention the drastic loss of salmon...[Continue]

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]

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