Certification in any of the countries in the Congo Basin was always going to stretch the credibility of the FSC system to the limit – as the miserable experiences in Cameroon of companies such as SEFAC and Wijma have shown (the former of which remains ‘suspended’ for forest management but, illogically, still certified for Chain of Custody). Sadly, because the FSC is unable to control its certifiers, these lessons seem not to have been learned; allowing its certifiers to issue certificates in DR Congo was always bound to end in disaster.
“Latvia’s pulp fiction”: AlJazeera programme on FSC and destructive logging in Latvia
A programme this week on AlJazeera’s People and Power reports on destructive logging in Latvia – including the fact that FSC-certified Latvian timber is still on sale in the UK, despite the fact that the FSC certified was suspended on 16 July 2010.
FSC and the Lacey Act: the $500,000 question
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.
Greenpeace exposes FSC’s ‘Controlled Wood’ fiction: Finland logging ‘Out of Control’
Wall Street Journal exposes FSC policy chaos
The joke that is FSC’s ‘Controlled Wood Standard’: the laundry is open for business
One of the more controversial of FSC’s policies has been the ‘Mixed Sources’ policy, which allows manufactured products such as plywood, paper and furniture to be labelled as ‘FSC’ even though the amount of wood fibre from FSC-certified sources is actually as little as 10% of the total wood material in the product.