SSNC files formal complaint against SCA’s clearcutting in Sweden

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has issued the following press release about SCA’s logging operations in northern Sweden. While this case looks very serious, it is not an isolated incident. SSNC points out that there are several other examples of destructive logging operations, by SCA and other Swedish FSC-certified companies.

Jonas Rudberg, SSNC’s forest campaigner says, “The situation in Sweden regarding the forest biodiversity is severe. Cutting levels are higher than ever and the FSC certification is apparently not enough. After ten years of FSC standard in place major infractions still happens and many conservationist seem about to lose their temper with the system.”

Here are some of SSNC’s photographs of the destruction caused by SCA’s clearcuts.

More photographs are available here.

Forest company SCA reported for major infractions

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) has filed a formal complaint against SCA regarding a clear-felling in northern Sweden, stating that it violates no less than eight FSC indicators.

2007-11-22 The site complained about by SSNC is called Mellanbergsmyrorna, located near Sollefteå in northern Sweden. Among the violations are felling in key habitats, destroyed bird nest’s trees, devastated habitats for red listed species and cutting of trees with high biodiversity value. All the infractions are cautiously documented by SSNC local members with photographs and GPS coordinates.

  • For the credibility of the FSC system and for the sake of nature conservation it is highly important that major infractions such as these result in consequences for the company. This felling is outrageous and punctuates the company’s high profile in FSC marketing, Mikael Karlsson, President of SSNC says.

SCA has been FSC certified for ten years. It means that the company has signed up for specific rules about nature consideration and that its products then can be supplied with the FSC label, a permit that now can be withdrawn.

SCA is a forest and paper producer, selling consumer products such as paper, tissue paper, packaging and sawn wood in more than 90 countries.

  • The nature values of the particular site were of high quality. It is tragic that local conservationists have to meet such neglect of nature values when SCA, one of the largest forest companies in Europe, has been FSC certified for ten years already, Mirjam Lööf, SSNC Forest campaigner says.

For contact details and further information about the formal complaint, please visit SSNC’s website.

FSC-Watch understands that SCA received a major corrective action request on the same day that SSNC’s press release was released. This could be described as evidence that the FSC system is working, but for the forests already destroyed by SCA’s logging, it is too late. The fact that an FSC-certified company was carrying out logging operations which are clearly in breach of FSC principles and criteria (and that SSNC had to raise the alarm – rather than the certifying body) is an indication that something is seriously wrong with the FSC system.

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