Earlier this month FSC-Watch wrote about a new report from Earthsight about illegal logging in Ukraine. Earthsights’ 18-month-long investigation revealed that IKEA is selling chairs made from beech wood that was illegally logged in the Ukrainian Carpathians. And the timber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Last month, we reported on how FSC’s former Executive Director, Andre de Freitas, had raised serious doubts about the FSC’s Chain of Custody (CoC) certification mechanism, describing it as a “myth”. Now a new and, for the FSC, more worrying voice has been added to those expressing concern about the integrity of CoC certificates; that of NEPCon, one of FSC’s accredited certifiers.
The myth of sustainable FSC certified logging in Sweden is explored in a new article, Sweden’s Green Veneer Hides Unsustainable Logging Practices on Yale 360, by journalist and photographer, Erik Hoffner.
Last week saw the distressing announcement by UNESCO that the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve had been put back on the organisation’s ‘In Danger’ list, at the request of the Honduran government because, it said, of “the combined threats of illegal logging, fishing and land occupation, poaching and the reduced capacity of the State to manage the site”. Covering 500,000 hectares, and being one of Central America’s most important protected areas, Rio Platano has also gained fame as being a source of mahogany used in the manufacture of Gibson guitars.
Nothing encapsulates the dismal weaknesses of the FSC system quite as well as the case of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) – which for many years has been FSC’s flagship certified logging operation in Africa.
On 14 February 2010, SWR, a German TV station broadcast a short film about FSC certification of clearcuts in Sweden.
FSC-Watch has several times in the last eighteen months reported on the FSC-certified ‘chainsaw massacre’ taking place in the state forest lands of Massachusetts, USA. Managed by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), 285,000 acreas of forest had been certified by California-based Scientific Certification Systems Inc (SCS) since 2004.
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.