The outcome of Greenpeace's complaint against Congolese logging company SODEFOR, announced by the FSC on March 23rd, will probably not please the complainants very much, but it once again has served to highlight some of the glaring weaknesses in the FSC system.
As we have previously reported, the complaint against SODEFOR's certificate dates back to April 2011, but by the time Greenpeace had lodged their appeal, the certificate had already been withdrawn by the certifier, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood...[Continue]
Things only get worse for the FSC in Africa. Following the cancellation of the biggest certificate in Cameroon (SFEAC), the partial cancellation of the biggest certificate in Republic of Congo and sale of its holder (CIB) to a palm oil trader, now comes news that the high profile and largest certificate in the Democratic Republic of Congo has also been struck from FSC's register of certified operations.
As the Greenpeace press release below reports, the Swiss-owned Danzer Group has sold its subsidiary SIFORCO, one of Africa's largest logging companies, to the US-based Groupe Blattner Elwyn...[Continue]
B&Q and Wickes, two of Britain's biggest DIY stores, have been caught selling plywood falsely labelled as FSC certified.
The company selling the plywood, Asia Plywood Company, is the largest exporter of Meranti wood and plywood in Malaysia. The website Sarawak Report explains that Asia Plywood Company got its FSC certificate not for the timber it logs in Sarawak, but "by pledging that at least 70% of the content of its finished plywood was now being sourced from New Zealand plantation pine."
In fact, the plywood on sale in the UK was "almost completely made up of tropical hardwood, such as meranti wood," Sarawak Report notes...[Continue]
The myth of sustainable FSC certified logging in Sweden is explored in a new article, Sweden's Green Veneer Hides
Unsustainable Logging Practices on Yale 360, by journalist and photographer, Erik Hoffner.
The article describes the growing consensus that the "Swedish model" of forestry is failing to protect biodiversity, and old growth forests continue to be clear-cut, including those with FSC certification. With 10 million hectares certified, or 45% of its total forest, Sweden has one of the largest areas of FSC certified logging...[Continue]
In June of this year, we reported on the shocking atrocities against local communities happening in two FSC 'Controlled Wood' certified logging operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the two companies concerned, SODEFOR, had, by the time we reported, already had its certificate 'suspended', and was the subject of a formal complaint submitted by Greenpeace. The other, SIFORCO, remains certified (by SGS) to this day, but has also recently had a complaint filed against it by Greenpeace...[Continue]
Another news documentary causing embarrassment to the FSC appears in its home country, exposing the questionable practices of certified companies. ARD's Plus-minus programme travelled to Russian Karelia to inspect the forestry practices of IKEA subsidiary and timber supplier, Swedwood. What it found there was not pretty. As the documentary points out, Swedwood's large clear-cuts in 'old growth' forest appear to breach FSC's requirements concerning the treatment of High Conservation Value forest. The use of heavy machinery on vulnerable soils could have a lasting impact...[Continue]
Geasphere the NGO working in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland dedicated to the protection of ecological integrity, has released a new short video explaining why FSC's certification of plantations in South Africa are in clear contravention of the FSC's Principles and Criteria, and how the P&C themselves are defective in ensuring that FSC certifed timber is "environmentally appropriate".
Taking us on a tour of some of the South African landscapes devastated by industrial plantations, the video explains how FSC's Principle 10 is inadequate to ensure that certified plantations are not responsible for destruction of non-forest ecosystem, such as grasslands, even if these are more biodiverse than local forests...[Continue]
The FSC sank to new levels of farce this week with a decision that in effect means that the organisation has lodged a complaint against itself.
As we reported a week ago an investigation by Oxfam has revealed that the FSC-certified New Forests Company in Uganda has been responsible for eviction of 22,500 people from their land. In addition to the video news piece about Oxfam's report produced by the Guardian, Al Jazeera TV also reported on the evictions, including interviews with Kate Geary of Oxfam and Robert Devereux, the Chairman of New Forests Company...[Continue]
On 22 September 2011, Oxfam released a report about a UK-based company called New Forests. Oxfam's researchers visited the company's plantations in Uganda and found that more than 22,000 people were kicked off the land to make way for the company's monocultures. Oxfam made public what FSC's certifying body, SGS, had somehow managed to ignore for the past two years. Accreditation Services International (ASI) in turn found out nothing about the evictions when it carried out an audit of SGS in 2010. New Forests Company has put out a statement explaining that it "takes Oxfam’s allegations extremely seriously and will conduct an immediate and thorough investigation"...[Continue]