This article from this month's World Rainforest Movement bulletin illustrates that the problems with FSC-certification of industrial tree plantations are far from resolved.
The most common response to criticisms of FSC is that a review is currently under way, with a promise that the critique will be taken into account. This is the case with FSC certification of industrial tree plantations. In fact, FSC's review of its plantations policy started in 2004 (after a motion was passed at FSC's 2002 General Assembly)...[Continue]
FSC-Watch has received this announcement of the establishment of a new organisation which aims to fight the destruction of Sweden's forests, and to challenge the greenwashing of this destruction by the FSC.
Swedish old-growth forest destruction - international wood and paper customers deceived
New organization confronts old-growth forest destruction
Sweden, which will take over the EU Presidency in July 2009, has a considerable proportion of Europe's remaining old-growth forests...[Continue]
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]
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]
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 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]
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]
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 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]
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]