The following has been submitted by the Irish Environmental and Social Stakeholders.
THE BEGINNINGS OF PLANTATION FORESTRY IN IRELAND
In the 1930s the now famous Irish plant collector Augustine Henry
brought the Sitka Spruce to Ireland and over time it became the basis
of a virtual 100% blanket monoculture in the Irish landscape - totally
alien to the natural habitats of Oak, Ash, Rowan, Willow, etc. Being an alien species, plucked from its North American environment, planted in vast areas and susceptible to attack from the pine weevil, vast quantities of pesticides were used and are still used...[Continue]
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]
Despite what Greenpeace might want the public believe about the FSC being well on the way to bcoming a credible certification scheme again, people living with the effects of some of FSC's certified operations know better. In Ireland, as FSC-Watch has been reporting
for the last two years, the state forestry company Coillte has remained FSC certified for the last seven years, despite the numerous failures being known by both its certifier and the FSC itself...[Continue]
FSC's forthcoming 3-yearly General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, looks like it will be a farcical exercise in corporate-sponsored public relations, whilst the disparity between what the organisation likes to think it is doing and what it is actually doing continues to grow.
Nothing illustrates FSC's absurd self-deception better than the field trip planned for the pleasure of assembly participants. FSC's invite to this promises that "FSC has organized a field trip to one of the most beautiful nature reserves near Cape Town - the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve...[Continue]
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]
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]
The Guardian published a short piece about the FSC certification of Coillte, yesterday in Eco Soundings (30 April 2008).
PHOTO: Wally Menne
The description of Coillte's operations is spot on: "more than a million acres of pesticide-laden, monocultural and exotic Sitka spruce plantations"...[Continue]
In the past, FSC-Watch has been welcoming towards the work of Accreditation Services International (ASI), the FSC body which is supposed to ensure that the FSC's Principles and Criteria are upheld by the accredited certifiers. There is no doubt that monitoring of the certifiers has improved in recent years. But, for every audit of the certifiers carried out by ASI, there has been a failure to take meaningful action - even in cases where certifiers have been found by ASI to have issued certificates to blatantly non-compliant forest managers...[Continue]
In December 2006, FSC-Watch reported on how the FSC had bowed to pressure from the plantation industry to 'freeze' implementation of its pesticides policy, which prohibits the use of a chemicals included on FSC's 'banned' list. Under a decision taken by the International Board, FSC decided to extend until the end of June 2007 the deadline by which forestry companies had to apply for special 'derogation' permission to continue using banned chemicals...[Continue]
A few weeks ago, I visited Swaziland, as part of a trip with World Rainforest Movement colleagues. We visited Sappi's stinking, polluting Usutu pulp mill and drove through Sappi's pine monocultures - FSC certified by Woodmark.
Swaziland is a beautiful country...[Continue]