FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Key German NGO quits FSC in disgust at plantation certificationsTags: Plantations

Another long-standing European NGO member of FSC has announced its intention to withdraw its membership of the organisation in protest at what it sees as FSC's failure to prevent the certification of non-compliant companies. The Hamburg-based Robin Wood has been a member of FSC for 12 years. The group says in a statement issued on March 16th that it will continue working with the German national FSC group, but will end cooperation with FSC international. As with a growing number of NGOs, Robin Wood acknowledges that FSC is 'the most credible' forest certification system - but seemingly no longer credible enough to be associated with...[Continue]

FSC, Hancock and Smartwood Selling Out the Gippsland EnvironmentTags: Australia, Accreditation controls, Friends of the Earth, Plantations, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Last month, FSC-Watch received the following post about SmartWood's certification of Hancock Victorian Plantations. Early in February, a large area of Hancock's plantations burned down: part of the tragic fires which saw the loss of more than 200 lives and 1,800 homes. More information about the fires is available here.

FSC, Hancock and Smartwood Selling Out the Gippsland Environment

The reputation of FSC in Australia has been dealt another nasty blow with Smartwood's 2008 audit of Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP)...[Continue]

FSC Certification of plantations in South Africa criticisedTags: South Africa, Plantations, SGS Qualifor

In November 2008, just before the FSC General Assembly, Global Forest Coalition released a report criticising plantation certification in South Africa. The report's authors, Wally Menne and Blessing Karumbidza of The Timberwatch Coalition, asked the question "Can the FSC forest certification model be used to demonstrate sustainability in large-scale agrofuel crop production?" Their answer is a resounding "no".

The report looks in detail at the FSC certification of the industrial tree plantations belonging to the company Hans Merensky Holdings and its subsidiary Singisi Forest Products, which have been FSC certified since 2002 by SGS Qualifor...[Continue]

FSC is misleading consumers about paper productsTags: Plantations

An FSC label on paper products should ensure that the paper is produced from "environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests". At least that's what it says in the introduction to FSC's Principles and Criteria. The unfortunate reality is that FSC has certified some of the most egregious industrial tree plantations in the world.

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to a report for the World Rainforest Movement looking at Europe's role in supporting the expansion of industrial tree plantations and the pulp and paper industry in the global South...[Continue]

More than 3,600 people tell FSC to stop certifying industrial tree plantationsTags: South Africa, Ecuador, Brazil, Swaziland, Plantations

More than 3,600 organisations and individuals have signed on to World Rainforest Movement's letter to FSC members demanding that FSC should stop certifying industrial tree plantations. FSC-Watch looks forward to seeing FSC's response to the letter - preferably a decision to stop certifying environmentally and socially destructive monocultures. Today, WRM released the following press release:

WRM Press release, 3 November 2008

Forest Stewardship Council meeting in South Africa NGOs call on FSC to stop certifying tree plantations

The General Assembly of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3-7 November...[Continue]

Certification of monoculture tree plantations - open letter to FSC membersTags: Plantations

"Plantations are monocultures, created from seemingly endless rows of identical trees. They suck the water out of nearby streams and ponds and lower the water table, leaving little or no water for people living near the plantations. They deplete soils, pollute the environment with agrotoxics and eradicate biodiverse local ecosystems. Activists in Brazil call them the green desert because of the way they destroy local people's livelihoods and environments. But what's almost as bad as the plantations themselves is that this sort of plantation is given a green seal of approval by the Forest Stewardship Council."

This comes from a new World Rainforest Movement briefing titled "FSC certification of tree plantations needs to be stopped"...[Continue]

FSC: Stop certifying monoculture tree plantationsTags: Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, Plantations

This month's World Rainforest Movement Bulletin focusses on the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations on 21 September. The Bulletin explains why a campaign against industrial tree plantations is important, includes materials for campaigns as well as news and analysis from around the world about struggles against plantations.

One article looks at FSC's record in certifying of plantations. If FSC is to take its own standards seriously, it must stop certifying monoculture tree plantations (a fully referenced version of this article is available here):

FSC: Stop certifying monoculture tree plantations!

By Chris Lang...[Continue]

Controversy deepens over Veracel certificationTags: Brazil, Plantations, Accreditation controls, SGS Qualifor

The controversy over SGS Qualifor's certification of Veracel deepened last week with two-pages of articles in the Brasil de Fato newspaper. The articles (in Portuguese, links below) note the recent court decision against Veracel, fining Veracel US$12.5 million and ruling that the company must remove eucalyptus trees covering an area of 96,000 hectares and replant native forest.

The articles also make several other serious criticisms of Veracel, based on an interview with João Alves da Silva, the public prosecutor in the town of Eunápolis, Bahia state...[Continue]

ENCE loses one certificate in Spain. Soon to lose another in Uruguay?Tags: Uruguay, Spain, Plantations, Suspended certificates, SGS Qualifor

On 19 June 2008, Spanish pulp company ENCE lost its FSC certification in Spain, when its subsidiaries Norte Forestal (Norfor) and Silvasur had their certificate withdrawn. Norfor manages just over 12,000 hectares of industrial tree plantations in the northeast of Spain and Silvasur has almost 70,000 hectares in Andalusia. Both companies were certified by SGS Qualifor in October 2004. The Norfor certificate was questioned by Greenpeace, WWF, the Asociación Pola Defensa Da Ría, Verdegaia, and Association for the Ecological Defence of Galicia...[Continue]

The 'many wrongs' of FSC in South AfricaTags: South Africa, Plantations, Soil Association Woodmark, SGS Qualifor

In the following contribution, Philip Owen of Southern African NGO GeaSphere, reports on the ecological devastation caused by the FSC certified industrial plantations in South Africa. The article illustrates the problems in one particular site, certified by the 'Soil Association' WoodMark, which overall has certified nearly 500,000 hectares of plantations in South Africa. Readers will not miss the irony that one of the major impacts has been on the soils of the region, and will no doubt question how such an operation could be certified by an organisation which purports to be concerned with the conservation of the world's soil...[Continue]

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