For only the second time in its 13-year history, the FSC has suspended the accreditation of one of its certifiers.
However, as with most of FSC’s dealings with the certifiers, the reasons for the suspension of the Swiss based Institut für Marktökologie (IMO), on 22nd September, are not entirely clear. All that the FSC Secretariat has said is that the decision was taken against IMO “for performing new evaluations and issuing new FSC forest management certificates in Chile” – and even this information was buried in an unassuming document on FSC’s website.
The news will no doubt be welcomed by campaigners concerned about FSC’s certification of large monoculture industrial tree crops, as it means that 440,000 hectares of mostly eucalyptus plantations in Chile (as well as a number of certifcates in other countries) will also have IMO’s FSC certificates suspended.
It is encouraging that FSC has shown that it is able to sanction one of the certifiers. However, FSC-Watch believes that the reasons for this decision should be made more clear by the Secretariat. Every month, FSC members and the public are treated to an account of how and why the total area under FSC certification has grown inexorably. We believe we are also entitled to know how and why that area shrinks. FSC-Watch also invites the Secretarat to explain exactly what it is that the relatively small IMO has done to deserve its suspension that any of the other larger certifiers have not also been guilty of?