New Greenpeace report criticises FSC in Russia: “FSC voluntary forest certification in deep crisis”

Greenpeace has just released a very critical report about FSC’s failure to prevent forest destruction even in FSC certified logging operations in Russia. The report is titled, “FSC in Russia: Certifying the Destruction of Intact Forest Landscapes” and can be downloaded here. Greenpeace reports that,

The FSC is failing to distinguish good forest management practices from the typical model of unsustainable forest exploitation widely employed in intact boreal, or taiga, forests. It is therefore failing in its mission to be a tool for forest protection.

Russia has the second largest area of FSC certified forest in the world (after Canada). An area of 38.5 million hectares of Russia’s forests is certified under the FSC system.

Greenpeace concludes that the destruction of intact forest landscapes by FSC-certified logging operations is widespread throughout the Russian taiga and the FSC logo is “being misused to provide green cover for the destruction of HCV [high conservation value] forests”.

Greenpeace recommends that FSC stops further logging in intact forest landscapes, supports increased protection, and “only certifies companies that are truly practicing good forest management according to its Principles and Criteria”. With this statement of the staggeringly obvious, Greenpeace points out just how badly the FSC system is currently operating in Russia (and elsewhere).

In a press release, Dr Christoph Thies, Senior Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace International, said:

“If FSC cannot even comply with its own standards and give clear guidance on how to protect irreplaceable forests like IFLs, then its logo will become greenwash, indistinguishable from bogus certification schemes such as PEFC. FSC must act to turn this situation around immediately if it has any hopes of salvaging its credibility”.

Greenpeace Russia forest campaigner Tatiana Khakimulina writes that, “I strongly believe that the FSC system is now in its deepest ever crisis, although I doubt whether the FSC fully realises this.” Khakimulina adds that, “It is very unlikely that the actual quality of Forest Management certification in the majority of boreal forests can even meet the minimum FSC standard for controlled wood, which only excludes wood from completely inappropriate sources.”


One comment

  1. Good article, but you have to consider it is not FSC itself failing to do its business. Its actually the different certification bodies and ASI (Accreditation Services International) failing to do theirs. FSC itself does not evaluate anything. The certification bodies evaluate the companies. And ASI evaluates the certification bodies. Unfortunately nobody evaluates ASI.

    It’s like telling the parliament that there is a problem with crime in a certain city. The parliament passes lows. It’s not responsible that those lows are followed. That the work of the police. The same with FSC. It’s not the system that is failing, it’s the certification bodies (not all) and ASI which are.

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