FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

FSC's Brazil disgrace continues as landless re-occupy certified illegal plantation landsTags: Brazil, Plantations, Certifier conflict of interest, SGS Qualifor

We have received the following from 'Alert against the Green Desert Network' in Brazil, reporting on the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST) continuing occupation of part of the illegal (but FSC certified) plantations owened by Veracel. As we previously reported, the Veracel certification has been highly controversial; despite FSC itself finding that the certificate showed "a number of nonconformities with FSC accreditation requirements", the certificate still remains in place and SGS Qualifor, which was responsible for issuing it, remains accredited by FSC...[Continue]

More media coverage of the Massachusetts Chainsaw MassacreTags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

Last month, FSC-Watch posted information about the FSC-certified destructive logging taking place in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Forest Watch has documented the destruction in detail. The story has received more media coverage, listed below, with links.

Taxpayers footing bill to destroy state forests

Capital 9 News, 3 April 2009

It's a massive space of open land in Savoy Massachusetts...[Continue]

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]

Why does FSC allow the Massachusetts Chainsaw Massacre to remain certified?Tags: USA, Accreditation controls, SCS

FSC is coming in for some serious criticism in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Forest Watch produced a 50-page report detailing the damage that logging is doing to State forests.

Subsequently, the Boston Channel's Team 5 Investigates produced a video explaining how the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is supposed to protect forests, is actually cutting them down. Click on the image below to watch the video:

The transcript is available here...[Continue]

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]

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]

WWF pulls the plug on Barama, former FSC star performerTags: Guyana, WWF, SGS Qualifor

WWF has finalised its forced retreat from supporting one of South America's most notorious logging companies, and now says it believes that the Guyana-based Barama would not be able to regain the FSC certificate that was 'suspended' in 2007.

FSC-Watch is glad to learn that the local chapter of WWF is 'reviewing' its policy on supporting private logging companies - something which the WWF should reconsider worldwide - but wonders how the 'fatal flaws' in Barama's logging operations were not identified at the time by its certifier, SGS?

The following report comes from the Guyanese newspaper, Starbroek news...[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]

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]

FSC and the Lacey Act: the $500,000 questionTags: Worldwide, Controlled wood, Mixed sources labelling, Legality, All certifiers

In May 2008, the US government enacted a revision to the Lacey Act, a hundred year-old piece of legislation that renders it illegal to trade in goods in the US which are from illegal sources, which now makes the Act applicable to the timber trade. Whilst timber traders are no doubt hoping that use of FSC certified wood is going to keep them out of prison, they may be in for a nasty shock.

This year's revision to the Act came about through a long lobbying campaign by US environmental groups, who were also joined by the US wood industry and labour organisations in seeking to exclude illegally acquired wood from outside the US...[Continue]

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