Galician environmental group Verdegaia and a confederation of 300 environmental groups from Spain have demanded that the the FSC certificate of eucalyptus plantation company NORFOR should be immediately cancelled.
Certifier conflict of interest
FSC certification of US public forest lands: the warnings from Michigan
Debate is growing in the US about the certification of public forests with FSC and the so-called Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) being the front-running schemes. There are good reasons to question whether, in its current state, FSC is an appropriate tool for certification of the vast areas of forest which are in state and federal public ownership in the US, and which in many cases have very high values for recreational, cultural and nature protection purposes. Some of the potential problems are starkly illustrated by one of the existing major FSC certifications of public forest lands, that of the 1.6 million hectares of the Michigan state forests as managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Rainforest ‘Death’ Alliance SmartWood targeted in protest at ancient forest destruction
Braving sub-zero temperatures and wearing gorilla and bird costumes, a group of New York City environmentalists rallied outside the headquarters of Rainforest Alliance last week, demanding an end to the organization’s certification of old-growth industrial logging.
Hancock Victoria Plantations, Australia: SmartWood continues to discredit FSC
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.
FSC dumps Asia Pulp and Paper – but who was to blame?
In December 2007, the FSC announced that it was “dissociating” itself from the giant Sinar Mas-owned Indonesian paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) – see statement below. The news was mostly greeted by the environmental movement, though there is some suspicion that the FSC only took this unusual step because the possible certification of APP had been exposed in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. WWF in particular has issued stinging reports of the company’s greewashing of its destruction of forests to feed its pulp mill in Riau province, Sumatra. (For WWF, this was yet another ‘logger love-in’ turned sour, having signed an agreement with APP and its parent company in 2003 to advise on sustainable forest management.)
SmartWood and Tembec: into the ‘black hole’ of disinformation
FSC-Watch earlier reported on the certification of more areas of Tembec’s vast logging operations in Canada, making it the largest of all FSC certified companies and no doubt earning it’s certifier, SmartWood, substantial fees. David Nickarz, a forest activist in Winnipeg, has been challenging Rainforest Alliance over this certificate. Other forest activists that have questioned SmartWood (there are many of them) will understand what David means by the ‘black hole’ of disinformation that he refers to in the blog article below, which describes his experiences in ‘complaining’ to SmartWood.
Wall Street Journal exposes FSC policy chaos
SCS certification of Jurua Forestal, Brazil: FSC plumbs new depths of bad practice
To some people, such as Mayor Salvatore Perillo of Ocean City, New Jersey, USA, the FSC represents the ‘Gold Standard’ of forest certification; an assurance that wood comes from well-managed and properly independently audited sources. But Mayor Perillo, and many others, would do well to know what lies behind the FSC’s claims. One of the more shocking examples – Jurua Forestal Ltda, which is felling timber in the Brazilian rainforest – is a potential supplier of ipe timber for the imminent repair of Perillo’s Ocean City sea-front boardwalks.
SmartWood misled US local authority over FSC timber
In the New Jersey town of Ocean City, controversy has been raging about the City Council’s planned use of more than a hundred thousand board feet of FSC-certified rainforest timber. The City Council is planning to use the Amazonian wood ipe (pronounced ‘ee-pay’) for a major renewal of its sea-front boardwalks. Many local people – supported by the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club – are opposed to the use of rainforest timber, and have been asking the City Council to use more environmentally acceptable alternatives. The City’s own Environmental Commission unanimously opposed the use of timber from the Amazon.
FSC’s new ‘Global Strategy’: a recipe for disaster?
The FSC is currently consulting on the preparation of a new ‘Global Strategy’ that will guide the organisation for the next 5 years (the strategy is, we learn, open for public consultation only until June 15th although, given that many FSC stakeholders seem to have found out about this only very late in the day, we hope that FSC will extend this deadline). A full copy of the draft strategy is available for download at the end of this posting.