FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC is greenwashing Brazil's monoculture tree plantations: Part 2Tags: Brazil, Plantations, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Last week, journalist Fred Pearce investigated Ryman's claims of "carbon neutral" office paper in his "Greenwash" column in The Guardian. It turns out that the raw material for Ryman's paper comes from Suzano's monoculture eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. Suzano's FSC-Certified monoculture eucalyptus plantations, that is.

Of course, as FSC's Alison Kriscenski pointed out to Pearce, "FSC certification is not a guarantee that a forest is carbon neutral, and people should not use it to claim that." But that apparently doesn't stop Suzano from making precisely that claim...[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]

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]

Greenpeace exposes FSC's 'Controlled Wood' fiction: Finland logging 'Out of Control'Tags: Finland, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, Greenpeace, Legality, Soil Association Woodmark, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A new report from Greenpeace published this month confirms what this website has been warning for nearly two years: that the FSC's so-called Controlled Wood Policy is a shambles, and is allowing wood from highly unacceptable sources into the FSC certified chain of custody.

The report, called 'Out of Control' (available here - pdf file, 3Mb), follows detailed investigations into several logging operations in Finland over the last two years, during which all major paper companies have been audited against the FSC Controlled Wood standard...[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 in Australia: Hancock rips off rainforest dealTags: Australia, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

Earlier this year, we reported on SmartWood's certification of Hancock Victoria Plantations, Australia. We have been asked to post this update by Anthony Amis, a local expert. Further images and details are available at Hancock Watch.

Hancock Victorian Plantations and Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment undermine Community Agreement

In October 2006, an historic Heads of Agreement was signed concerning rainforest protection in Victoria's Strzelecki Ranges...[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]

FSC wood debacle lands city authority in courtTags: USA, Brazil, Procurement policies, Mixed sources labelling, SCS, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A US timber company is suing a New Jersey city authority over its cancellation of a controversial order of FSC certified lumber for repair of its ocean-front boardwalks. In the latest development in this long-running debacle, which has exposed gaping weaknesses in the FSC's Chain of Custody system, the Louis Grasmick Lumber company of Baltimore has said that it will sue the Ocean City authorities for $1.2 million

Local environmental campaigners have long opposed the use by Ocean City of Amazonian ipe wood for the city boardwalk renovation project...[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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