FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC's credibility in Sweden takes another pounding with new Greenpeace reportTags: Sweden, Certifier conflict of interest, High Conservation Value Forests, Greenpeace

Greenpeace has released a new report detailing major problems and non-compliances in FSC certifications in Sweden.

Stockholm, Thursday 5 March 2009 - Swedish timber with the certification label FSC might come from high conservation value forests that should have been left protected, a new Greenpeace report reveals.

Forest Stewardship Council, FSC, is an international organization certifying forestry and wood products, such as paper and furniture. The FSC label should guarantee that the forest companies' timber and other products derive from forestry with high environmental standards...[Continue]

Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB): myth of biodiversity protection evaporates as new evidence shows impacts on elephantsTags: Congo, Tropical Forest Trust, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A new research paper (see abstract below) on the behavioural patterns of forest elephants has dealt a major blow to the myth of 'sustainable logging' in the rainforests of the Congo Basin. One of the areas specifically referred to in the paper as being negatively impacted is covered by the concessions of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) that is currently being 'pre-assessed' for FSC certification by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood.

CIB has already gained FSC certification for two of its five concessions in northern Republic of Congo, which together cover 1.3 million hectares of once pristine rainforest...[Continue]

Millions of FSC certified trees to be uprooted as Brazilian court condemns VeracelTags: Brazil, Certifier conflict of interest, Legality, SGS Qualifor

A final blow has been dealt to the credibility of the now 'self-suspended' FSC certifier SGS, by a Brazilian Federal court decision that nearly one hundred thousand hectares of eucalyptus plantation owned by SGS-certified company Veracel were planted illegally and will have to be torn down within 12 months. The company has also been ordered to pay $12 million in fines for causing environmental damage.

Given the seriousness of the failures with the Veracel certification, combined with what have evidently been gross certification failures in other countries including Guyana, Spain and Poland, FSC-Watch believes that the FSC Secretariat should now impose a global and indefinite suspension on SGS's FSC accreditation...[Continue]

SGS halts all new FSC forest management certification activitiesTags: Worldwide, Certifier conflict of interest, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

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]

FSC undermines paper recycling, contributes to global warmingTags: Canada, Recycling, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

FSC-Watch receives many queries and messages of concern, including from industry, as to why the FSC is helping to undermine efforts at paper recycling by allowing the certification of paper with little or no recycled content. We have now received the following article from the May/June 2008 Eco-Journal of the Manitoba Eco-Network, Canada, which we are happy to reproduce.

The article provides interesting insights into how SmartWood's FSC certification of the output from Tembec's Pine Falls operations has helped destroy production of recycled paper...[Continue]

Karelian certificate challenged over damage to old growth forestTags: Russia, Certifier conflict of interest, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

The following information has been supplied by the Russian NGO, SPOK.

This is yet another example of an FSC certificate issued by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood having to be challenged by NGOs. The logging company in question, Zapkarelles, has a concession of over 800,000 hectares of old growth forest in Karelia.

Regional NGO SPOK, Karelia, requests cancellation of FSC certificate for company 'Zapkarelles'

At the beginning of June, Karelian environmental NGO SPOK wrote an official letter to the Russian national office of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) requesting investigation of the forestry practises of forestry company 'Zapkarelles'...[Continue]

FSC certified state forestry company 'rips-off' Ireland: officialTags: Ireland, Certifier conflict of interest, Soil Association Woodmark

Recent revelations in the Irish press have confirmed that, not only is the FSC-certified state forestry company, Coillte, responsible for massive environmental abuse but has also been ripping off the Irish state for tens of millions of euros.

The article below from the Irish Sunday Independent confirms that Coillte has also been guilty of the illegal use of European Commission grants, for which the irish State has been forced to re-pay millions of euros in fines...[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]

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]

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]

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