In a further serious blow to FSC’s credibility, a long-term key NGO supporter of the organistion, FERN, has announced the resignation of its membership.
Yesterday, environmental activists in New York City unfurled a 35-foot banner blocking the iconic view of 10th Avenue from the High Line park to protest the Amazon wood used in the park for bleachers, benches and decking. The banner read, “High Crime on the High Line! FSC Lies: Amazon Wood Is Not Sustainable!”
This is the first of a series of articles which will be posted in the run-up to ‘FSC Friday’ (September 25th), with which FSC-Watch aims to highlight some of the on-going problems with FSC certifications.
As the FSC is considering how it should engage with potential future forest carbon trading schemes – and will no doubt be under pressure from the certification bodies, such as SGS and Rainforest Alliance, to move into this potentially lucrative market – it should take heed of recent developments concerning the United Nations scheme to certify international carbon credits.
Another long-standing European NGO member of FSC has announced its intention to withdraw its membership of the organisation in protest at what it sees as FSC’s failure to prevent the certification of non-compliant companies. The Hamburg-based Robin Wood has been a member of FSC for 12 years. The group says in a statement issued on March 16th that it will continue working with the German national FSC group, but will end cooperation with FSC international. As with a growing number of NGOs, Robin Wood acknowledges that FSC is ‘the most credible’ forest certification system – but seemingly no longer credible enough to be associated with.
In May 2008, the US government enacted a revision to the Lacey Act, a hundred year-old piece of legislation that renders it illegal to trade in goods in the US which are from illegal sources, which now makes the Act applicable to the timber trade. Whilst timber traders are no doubt hoping that use of FSC certified wood is going to keep them out of prison, they may be in for a nasty shock.
An FSC label on paper products should ensure that the paper is produced from “environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests”. At least that’s what it says in the introduction to FSC’s Principles and Criteria. The unfortunate reality is that FSC has certified some of the most egregious industrial tree plantations in the world.