FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

What's the alternative? Reduce consumptionTags: Worldwide, Plantations

One of the questions that we receive on a fairly regular basis at FSC-Watch is, "What's your alternative?". There are several answers to this question. First, FSC-Watch exists to point out the flaws in the Forest Stewardship Council as it currently operates. Clearly, one "alternative" would be for FSC to address these flaws. For example, FSC could take seriously the problem that the certifying bodies are hired by the forestry company wanting to be certified. FSC-Watch has pointed out that this is a conflict of interest on many occasions...[Continue]

FSC's greenwash at the Convention on BiodiversityTags: Plantations

Yesterday, FSC organised a side-event at the Ninth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in Bonn. Activists from Global Forests Coalition and World Rainforest Movement made their voices heard at the side event.

FSC's panel responded to a series of questions from the moderator, Stefan Salvador, FSC's Chain of Custody Programme Manager. Hans Schipulle, Chairman of the Congo Basin Forestry Partnership, told us that modern methods of forest management are carbon neutral or even carbon negative, although he provided no evidence to back up this statement...[Continue]

Another NGO quits FSC in protest against NORFOR plantationsTags: Galicia, Spain, Plantations, SGS Qualifor

Galician environmental group the Association for the Ecological Defence of Galicia (ADEGA) has announced the withdrawal of its support to FSC, at least until the the certificate of NORFOR, ENCE's eucalyptus plantation operation, is cancelled.

ADEGA was the only major Galician NGO that continued supporting FSC after the Galician environmental movement as a whole withdraw its support to the certificate in 2006...[Continue]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Galicia, Spain: formal complaint submitted against NORFOR and ASITags: Galicia, Spain, Plantations, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

The Galician environmental group Asociacion Pola Defensa da Ria (APDR) has submitted a formal complaint to the FSC about the certification of plantation company NORFOR and the assessment of it's certifier, SGS that was undertaken by FSC's Accreditation Services International. In their complaint, APDR argues that the FSC-ASI report on SGS's certification of NORFOR is not only of very low quality, but it also fails to address the majority of the criticisms of NORFOR presented by a number of NGOs...[Continue]

How Woodmark certifies Sappi's monocultures but ignores a "stakeholder" in SwazilandTags: Swaziland, Plantations, Soil Association Woodmark

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.

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Swaziland is a beautiful country...[Continue]

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