Two weeks ago, ARTE broadcast a documentary that was extremely critical of FSC. FSC responded with a statement on its website, and an 8-page “Fact check”. FSC’s response illustrates that the organisation is in denial about the problems within the FSC system.
ARTE Documentary: Logging companies clearcutting Russia’s primary forest and hiding behind the FSC label
For their recent ARTE documentary about FSC, journalists Manfred Ladwig and Thomas Reutter travel to Russia. FSC-certified forest in Russia covers an area that together is larger than Denmark.
New documentary slams FSC: “The eco-label could not slow down the forest industry”
ARTE, the European TV channel, broadcast a new documentary about FSC this week. It’s available on Das Erste website in German: “Die Ausbeutung der Urwälder: Kann ein Öko-Siegel die Forstindustrie stoppen?” – The exploitation of primary forests: Can an ecolabel stop the forest industry?
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.
IKEA supplier Swedwood in Karelia: TV documentary exposes impacts of FSC certified clear-cuts in HCV forests
Another news documentary causing embarrassment to the FSC appears in its home country, exposing the questionable practices of certified companies. ARD’s Plus-minus programme travelled to Russian Karelia to inspect the forestry practices of IKEA subsidiary and timber supplier, Swedwood. What it found there was not pretty. As the documentary points out, Swedwood’s large clear-cuts in ‘old growth’ forest appear to breach FSC’s requirements concerning the treatment of High Conservation Value forest. The use of heavy machinery on vulnerable soils could have a lasting impact.
Karelian certificate challenged over damage to old growth forest
The following information has been supplied by the Russian NGO, SPOK.
This is yet another example of an FSC certificate issued by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood having to be challenged by NGOs. The logging company in question, Zapkarelles, has a concession of over 800,000 hectares of old growth forest in Karelia.
‘Non-existent’ indigenous people challenge WWF’s certified ‘model’ forest project, Komi, Russia
One of the several issues raised in our earlier posting on the FSC in Russia was the case of the ‘Komi Model Forest Project’, which is taking place in the Komi Republic, north-western Russia. The reports we have received below indicate that this project, which is used as a ‘model’ for certified forestry operations in European Russia, may be a model of what not to do, rather than one of good practice. It once again raises questions about the competence of SmartWood as an FSC-accredited certifier, and about WWF’s relationships with forestry companies.
FSC in Russia: ‘sustainable forest management’ or simply money and politics?
FSC-Watch has been sent the following article by Svetlana Alekseeva, Chief Editor of “Forest Certification”. It raises a number of serious questions about the motivation of various ‘stakeholders’ involved in FSC certifications in Russia.
What is the FSC certifying?
One of the underlying reasons for the existence of this site is that it is difficult, or impossible, even for the FSC members, to pick their way through the relentless ‘public relations’ output from the Secretariat, and to know what is really going on within the organisation. For example, whilst we hear repeatedly about the expanding area of the Earth’s surface under FSC certification, we never seem to hear about the complaints that have been filed about any of these certificates. We never seem to hear that, for example, almost the entire Indonesian NGO community has, for several years, been calling for a cessation of the issuing of any new FSC certificates in their country (and which has been completely ignored by a number of certifiers and by the FSC itself).