FSC-Watch

An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

Clear-cuts for Ecotimber - more criticism of FSC, this time on German TVTags: Germany, Sweden, Certifier conflict of interest, FSC Secretariat, High Conservation Value Forests

On 14 February 2010, SWR, a German TV station broadcast a short film about FSC certification of clearcuts in Sweden.

The programme, Report Mainz, is available by clicking on the image below (only available in German):

UPDATE: 8 March 2011 - the video is now available with English subtitles:

The programme starts with an introduction to FSC...[Continue]

"Latvia's pulp fiction": AlJazeera programme on FSC and destructive logging in LatviaTags: Latvia, Corrective Action Requests, High Conservation Value Forests, Hoped-for improvements, Suspended certificates, Controlled wood, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A programme this week on AlJazeera's People and Power reports on destructive logging in Latvia - including the fact that FSC-certified Latvian timber is still on sale in the UK, despite the fact that the FSC certified was suspended on 16 July 2010.

During 2009 and 2010, the FSC-certified Latvian state logging company, Latvijas Valsts Mezi, doubled the area of forest logged from 15,000 hectares to 30,000 hectares each year. Rainforest Alliance, the FSC certifying body, carried out an audit in June 2010, and found that "the harvesting level in 2009/2010 far exceed the long term sustainable level." As AlJazeera's film reveals, this is something of a euphemism...[Continue]

A new film exposing FSC: 'Sustainable on Paper'Tags: Brazil, Pesticides, Plantations, Indigenous Peoples, Certifier conflict of interest, SGS Qualifor

A new film documents the problems with FSC. FSC-Watch will be posting several articles about this over the next few days. Meanwhile, here is FERN's description of the film in EU Forest Watch, January 2011. Below that is a trailer for the film.

'Sustainable on Paper'

Despite some plantations in Brazil being Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, they are nevertheless beset by problems. This is well-described in the film 'Sustainable on Paper' by freelance journalists Leo Broers and An-Katrien Lecluyse opening in Ghent, Belgium, 24 January 2011.[1]

Using the example of Brazilian-Scandinavian transnational Veracel, the film documents why many FSC-certified tree plantations are controversial...[Continue]

Formal complaint to FSC about killings of baboons by FSC-certified companies in South AfricaTags: South Africa, Complaints procedures, Plantations

Almost 2,000 baboons have been killed in the past two years by FSC-certified plantation companies in South Africa. Below is a press release from GeaSphere about a formal complaint submitted to FSC this week about the killings.

Stop the killing’ of baboons in the mountains of Mpumalanga, South Africa!

The environmental pressure group GeaSphere submitted a formal complaint to the FSC – Forest Stewardship Council – on Tuesday, 11 January 2011.

At least 1,914 baboons had been ‘removed’ by a controversial ‘trap and shoot’ method by FSC Certified plantation companies during the past two years...[Continue]

Uruguay: Tree plantation workers and agrotoxic sprayingTags: Uruguay, Pesticides, Plantations, SGS Qualifor

A new report, published jointly by Rap-Al Uruguay and Rel-UITA looks at tree plantation workers and agrotoxic spraying. The research was carried out on plantations operated by FOSA (Forestal Oriental S.A.), a transnational company that is owned by UPM (formerly Botnia) and which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

An article based on the report was published in last month's WRM Bulletin:

Uruguay: Tree plantation workers and agrotoxic spraying"

World Rainforest Movement Bulletin, Issue 161 - December 2010

One of the promises made by plantation companies to gain support – from the government and from local communities – is that they will create employment...[Continue]

FSC certified company, Hancock, caught on film converting forest to plantations in the Strzezlicki Ranges, AustraliaTags: Australia, Friends of the Earth, Plantations, Rainforest Alliance SmartWood

A new video about the Strzezlicki Ranges in Victoria, Australia reveals that FSC is failing to uphold its own standards, allowing destructive logging and conversion of native forest to exotic plantations.

Hancock has appeared several times in the past on FSC-Watch:

Yet Smartwood, FSC's certifying body has in effect turned a blind eye...[Continue]

FSC and logging of old-growth forestsTags: High Conservation Value Forests

On 28 September 2010, Ecological Internet issued the action alert below. So far, people from 69 countries have sent 3,654 protest emails - to join in, visit Ecological Internet's website.

Action Alert: Urge Forest Stewardship Council to Stop Greenwashing Industrial Primary Forest Logging

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and its members, certifiers and suppliers must commit to ending the certification of primary forest timbers, falsely implying it is sustainable to log 500 year old trees for toilet paper, lawn furniture and other consumer items...[Continue]

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation resigns from FSC SwedenTags: Sweden

In June 2010, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation resigned from FSC Sweden. Two years ago, the SSNC left the board of FSC Sweden. As the largest environmental organisation in Sweden, SSNC's resignation raises serious questions about the ability of FSC to implement its own standards.

Below are press releases from SSNC and Protect the Forest.

Unfortunately, FSC Sweden does seem to have understood the seriousness of the situation...[Continue]

Armed security force of FSC-certified company kills villager in BrazilTags: Brazil, Plantations, Partial certification, SCS

Two years ago, a peasant was murdered by guards of the company Vallourec and Mannesman in Brazil. At the time, V&M's plantations were certified for FSC by SGS-Qualifor.

Another tragic death in another FSC-certified plantation has now taken place. Below is a statement from the Sócio-Environmental Fórum of the Extreme South of Bahia and the Alert against the Green Desert Network, dated 23 March 2010, about the latest killing...[Continue]

FSC's mysterious disappearing certificates #2: SEFAC, CameroonTags: Cameroon, Legality, Suspended certificates, ICILA

Another of the many deeply troubling but now, at least temporarily, vanished FSC certficates exposed by FSC-Watch is that of the rainforest logging 'SEFAC group' in Cameroon. The SEFAC certificate disapeared off FSC's certified forest database sometime during 2009. Neither FSC nor SEFAC itself, nor the logger's certifier, ICILA, provided an explanation for this.

However, the certificate started running into serious trouble already in July 2008, when the FSC's 'certifier watchdog', Accreditation Services International (ASI), carried out a field inspection of the certified company...[Continue]

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