Back in November 2006, FSC-Watch reported on the strange lack of consistency between SGS and other observers as diverse as Greenpeace and the World Bank, on the question of the legality, or otherwise, of logging in Papua New Guinea. Whilst most experts take the view that illegal forestry activities are rampant – possibly dominant – in PNG, SGS seems to believe that all log exports from PNG have been legal for the last 12 years. The PNG logging industry has repeatedly used SGS’s reports to claim that they are operating within the law.
Now a new report from the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) seems to concur with what is common knowledge to everyone in PNG (with the seeming exception of SGS) – that the PNG timber industry is mired in mis-management and is “plagued with serious problems”.
This once again casts a spotlight on the reliability of SGS, one of FSC’s largest accredited certifiers. FSC-Watch believes we must question, if it is true that SGS cannot spot an illegal log when they see one, whether they are fit to be accredited to the FSC.