Another of FSC's longest-term NGO supporters, the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network has added itself to the list of NGOs expressing serious doubts about the FSC. In a new posting on RAN's website, the organisation's Programme Director, Jennifer Krill, states that the credibility of FSC "continues to be threatened". Krill specifically identifies the so-called Controlled Wood Standard as being problematic, and hints that RAN might withdraw its support for the organisation...[Continue]
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FoE EWNI) has confirmed that it no longer recognises the value of FSC certificates. FoE EWNI's website is now advising that FoE EWNI "is deeply concerned by the number of FSC certifications that are now sparking controversy and threatening the credibility of the scheme. We cannot support a scheme that fails to guarantee high environmental and social standards. As a result we can no longer recommend the FSC standard"...[Continue]
In a shock announcement, South Africa-based SGS Qualifor - FSC's second largest certifier - has said that it has taken a 'business decision' not to issue any further FSC forest management certificates, pending a 'review' of it's forest management certification processes. The announcement, made on the FSC's website, is believed to pre-empt an imminent decision by the FSC Secretariat to formally suspend SGS's accreditation worldwide...[Continue]
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]
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]
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]
In a long article in the UK magazine 'Ethical Consumer', Andrei de Freitas - FSC's Head of Policy and Standards - has admitted that the FSC system does suffer from conflicts of interest, and that the FSC is 'not a failsafe system'.
FSC-Watch has consistently argued that one of the underlying reasons for the issuing of so many controversial certificates is because the accredited certification bodies contract directly with the forestry companies that they are supposedly independently assessing. Certifiers compete with other for business, and this encourages a 'race to the bottom' of certification standards, as forestry companies are likely to seek certifiers that have the laxest standards...[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]
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]
The Wall Street Journal today ran the following story, the original of which is available here
FSC's 'Green' Label for Wood Products Gets Growing Pains
By TOM WRIGHT and JIM CARLTON
October 30, 2007
The environmental group that runs a widely recognized labeling system to identify "green" wood and paper products has acknowledged that some companies using its label are destroying pristine forests and says it plans to overhaul its rules...[Continue]