Author: Chris Lang

My name is Chris Lang. I've been an environmental activist and writer since the early 1990s. I have an MSc in Forestry and Land Use from Oxford University and have worked with a range of environmental and social rights NGOs. Since 2008, I have edited redd-monitor.org, analysing and critiquing REDD and other carbon trading schemes.

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FSC fails to kick out Schweighofer despite “clear and convincing evidence” of illegalities in Romania

Two-thirds of the last old-growth forests in Europe are in Romania. Unfortunately, Romania’s forests are under threat from rampant illegal logging. And by failing to kick out companies involved in this illegal logging, the Forest Stewardship Council is complicit in this destruction.

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Corruption scandal: Eucalyptus Fibre Congo accused of paying “black money” in the Republic of Congo, while it was FSC certified

A company called Eucalyptus Fibre Congo S.A. is alleged to have paid at least US$76,500 in “black money” to Congolese public officials in 2012. At the time, the company held an FSC chain of custody certificate.

Three weeks ago, Arnaud Labrousse sent an email to Kim Carstensen, FSC’s Director General. Labrousse has a few questions for FSC. Unfortunately, FSC seems reluctant to answer them.

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Will FSC ever kick out Suzano over GE trees?

On 9 April 2015, Brazil’s Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. The application came from FuturaGene, a company owned by pulp and paper giant Suzano.

Suzano’s plantations are FSC-certified. Estevão do Prado Braga, who works for Suzano, is a member of FSC’s Board.

Yet FSC’s Policy of Association does not allow FSC to associate with companies that introduce genetically modified organisms into forestry operations.

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How did DLH, a company trading illegal timber from Liberia, get FSC certification?

In February 2015, the Forest Stewardship Council announced that it was kicking out Danish timber giant Dalhoff Larsen and Horneman (DLH). FSC did so after investigations by Global Witness revealed that DLH had traded illegal timber from Liberia.

But how did a company trading illegal timber get FSC certification in the first place?

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Open Letter to FSC Board Calling on FSC to Dissociate from Suzano

FSC has a policy of association under which, “Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations” is not acceptable.

In 2010, Suzano bought biotechnology company FuturaGene. In January 2014, FuturaGene applied to Brazil’s National Technical Biosafety Commission (CTNBio) for approval to plant GE trees on a commercial scale.

In June 2014, FSC-Watch reported that Brazilian company Suzano was planning to use genetically engineered trees in its plantations, and asked whether FSC would therefore dissociate from Suzano, in accordance with its policy of association.

The Campaign to STOP GE Trees recently wrote to FSC, calling on FSC to dissociate from Suzano.

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