Gone! FSC’s 1994 cut-off date for destroying forests for monoculture plantations

By Chris Lang

At it’s General Assembly in Bali last week, FSC’s members voted to allow companies to be certified that have cleared forest to make way for industrial tree plantations between 1994 and 2000. In order to be certified, the company has to restore an area of forest equal to the area they destroyed. The cut-off date has now been moved to 2020. Any company converting forest to plantations after 2020 cannot be certified. Until FSC makes another decision to scrap its cut-off date, that is.

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Civil society organisations call on FSC to drop Samling Group

A coalition of civil society organisations have made a Policy for Association complaint demanding that the exclusion of the Samling Group from the Forest Stewardship Council. Samling’s logging operations are not FSC-certified, but the company holds three FSC chain of custody certificates.

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NGOs raise the alarm that the Forest Stewardship Council is opening the door to the global release of genetically engineered trees

By Chris Lang

In February 2022, FSC announced that it is starting a “learning process on genetic engineering in forestry outside of FSC-certified area”. According to FSC’s website, “The aim of the FSC GE learning process will be for FSC and its members to gain sufficient and trusted knowledge on developments in genetic engineering in forestry.”

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“FSC is no longer fit for purpose”. Open letter to the FSC demands immediate reform

In recent years, the UK-based NGO Earthsight has produced a series of investigative reports featuring the problems with the Forest Stewardship Council. These include exposing illegal Russian timber and illegal Ukrainian timber, both certified as legal and sustainable by FSC and sold by IKEA; and illegal Peruvian timber, FSC-certified and on sale by Robinson Lumber in the USA.

At the start of last year’s FSC General Assembly Earthsight coordinated an open letter to FSC, highlighting what’s wrong with FSC and demanding immediate reforms. The letter was signed by 34 organisations.

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Flatpacked Forests FAQ: Earthsight responds to FSC

Earlier this month FSC-Watch wrote about a new report from Earthsight about illegal logging in Ukraine. Earthsights’ 18-month-long investigation revealed that IKEA is selling chairs made from beech wood that was illegally logged in the Ukrainian Carpathians. And the timber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

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When is recycled toilet paper not recycled? When it carries an FSC Recycled label

Hoarding of toilet paper started in early February 2020 in Hong Kong after consumers panicked themselves into believing that the coronavirus outbreak in China would disrupt supplies. Within days, toilet paper shelves were empty in the supermarkets. Social media helped fuel the hoarding, which quickly spread across the world from Sydney to London to Washington DC.

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