Australia suffered devastating fires between September 2019 and February 2020. About 7.4 million hectares of forest was burned, mainly in New South Wales and Victoria. The fires released 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – significantly more than the 530 million tonnes of CO2 that the country emits each year.
Believe it or not, according to FSC Australia, if you use the letters ‘FSC’ or ‘Forest Stewardship Council’, you need to seek approval, in order to allow FSC to “check the accuracy of the text”. At least that’s what Timber + Design International was told when they contacted FSC Australia last year.
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.
Last month, FSC-Watch received the following post about SmartWood’s certification of Hancock Victorian Plantations. Early in February, a large area of Hancock’s plantations burned down: part of the tragic fires which saw the loss of more than 200 lives and 1,800 homes. More information about the fires is available here.
It is customary in many organisations to give out-going staff a photo-album showing the person’s accomplishments, for them to cherish in future years. We can’t do that for Heiko Liedeker, who is finally departing as FSC Executive Director, but what we would like to do with this posting is to show some of what has gone so badly wrong in the past – and what we expect the new Executive Director to put right.
We have been asked to publish the following article, by Anthony Amis of Friends of the Earth Melbourne, Australia.
It highlights some now very familiar themes: failure of SmartWood to comply with the FSC’s rules by not publishing its Public Summary reports in a timely manner: certification on the basis of ‘hoped-for improvements’ rather than performance, and covering up failures to actually improve by continually re-issuing ‘Corrective Action Requests’; slowness of the ASI in publishing the reports of it’s audits of certifiers where problems are identified…all of which is no doubt good for SmartWood’s business, but bad for the FSC’s credibility.