Last week at Manchester Magistrates Court a timber company called Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Ltd was found to be in breach of regulations prohibiting the import and sale of illegally harvested timber.
The headline comes from a recent post on CIFOR’s Forest Blog. CIFOR is the Centre for International Forestry Research. The blog post is based on research by one of CIFOR’s scientists, Paolo Omar Cerutti, who was lead author of a recent paper published in Forest Policy and Economics: Legal vs. certified timber: Preliminary impacts of forest certification in Cameroon.
Another of the many deeply troubling but now, at least temporarily, vanished FSC certficates exposed by FSC-Watch is that of the rainforest logging ‘SEFAC group’ in Cameroon. The SEFAC certificate disapeared off FSC’s certified forest database sometime during 2009. Neither FSC nor SEFAC itself, nor the logger’s certifier, ICILA, provided an explanation for this.
FSC-Watch has received unconfirmed reports that the Italian certification company ICILA has issued a certificate to the Cameroonian Groupe SEFAC, which is owned by Italian timber company Vasto Legno. Although the Public Summary report of the certification is not yet available on ICILA’s website, sufficient details have already emerged to suggest that this will come as yet another major blow to FSC’s credibility.
Earlier this year, we reported on the ‘anomalous’ circumstances surrounding the certification of Wijma, a company logging in the rainforests of Cameroon. Wijma’s certifier, Bureau Veritas was ‘suspended’ because of Wijma’s certificate, though the certificate itself was allowed to remain in place. Now we learn that, in a complete reversal, Burea Veritas has been ‘re-accredited’ to FSC, but Wijma has mysteriously disappeared off the list of currently certified companies.
Earlier this year, FSC-Watch reported on the curious circumstances surrounding the ‘suspension’ of Bureau Veritas’s (BV) accreditation by FSC for, as yet unrevealed, problems with the certification of the Cameroonian rainforest logging company, Wijma. We now learn that, whilst Bureau Veritas remains prohibited from carrying out FSC certifications in Cameroon, it has just started the process of trying certify the massive logging operations of Rougier, in neighbouring Gabon.
FSC-Watch has previously reported on the highly controversial certification of Wijma, a company logging in the rainforests of Cameroon which the independent observer of forests in that country has repeatedly found to be involved in illegalities.
The certification has now led to the suspension of Wijma’s certifer, Bureau Veritas (formerly Eurocertifor). We have been asked to post the following article, which is submitted by Danielle van Oijen, Forest Campaigner, Milieudefensie / Friends of The Earth Netherlands.