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:
- March 2007: FSC Certified operations fast losing credibility in Australia
- January 2008: Hancock Victoria Plantations, Australia: SmartWood continues to discredit FSC
- May 2008: FSC in Australia: Hancock rips off rainforest deal
- February 2009: FSC, Hancock and Smartwood Selling Out the Gippsland Environment
Yet Smartwood, FSC’s certifying body has in effect turned a blind eye. Anthony Amis of Friends of the Earth Victoria explains the problem in the video:
So, basically, Hancock have come into this site and there’s numerous large stumps, so they take out what they claim to be planted mountain ash. They also take out the remnant native ash in a lot of instances. And to rub insult to injury they then plant shining gum, which is not an indigenous species to the Strzezlecki. So we’re converting mountain ash reforestation-slash-native forest into shining gum plantations.
Under FSC rules, the conversion of plantations from native forests – if you do that, you don’t qualify for FSC if that conversion happened after 1994. Yet in the Strzezleckis, the company’s been doing it since their certification happened and FSC has done nothing….
What you’re looking at here is not retention of native forest, you’re looking at conversion of native forest into plantations under the umbrella of FSC certification.
So how is it that the FSC have not been dismantled, since they are obviously a bogus and corrupt corporate greenwashing facility. Concerned people such as myself have will not be appeased by such fallacious bureacratic bodies who most likely use orangatang offal in their stationary. To abuse the concern of the masses in this manner is despicable. The FSC and the UNEP should be dissolved immedietly and replaced by a network funded by a global “Earth-tax” which all corporations must pay, even if it were 0.0025% this could easily fund a vast multi-tiered monitoring and certifying task network, involving both governmental and community based operations.
Sure is a very weird system. ASI conducted an audit on Smartwood’s operations in March 2011. 18 months later the report is nowhere to be seen. Smartwood conducted another audit in March 2012. Nothing published 8 months after the event. Why all the delays? Who is accountable and when will the community get the answers that they have been after for nearly 10 years? It appears that Smartwood is probably arguing the toss over what ASI may have written, bogging the whole process down in quicksand.
It appears to me that FSC is more interested in greenwashing and supporting certified companies and certifiers, rather than facing reality and kicking dubious certifiers and companies out of the system. FSC has also grown too quickly and appears more interested in the amount of land it has certified as a response to the land certified under PEFC. This should not be a competition or race to the bottom.