Plantations

Gone! FSC’s 1994 cut-off date for destroying forests for monoculture plantations

By Chris Lang

At it’s General Assembly in Bali last week, FSC’s members voted to allow companies to be certified that have cleared forest to make way for industrial tree plantations between 1994 and 2000. In order to be certified, the company has to restore an area of forest equal to the area they destroyed. The cut-off date has now been moved to 2020. Any company converting forest to plantations after 2020 cannot be certified. Until FSC makes another decision to scrap its cut-off date, that is.

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NGOs raise the alarm that the Forest Stewardship Council is opening the door to the global release of genetically engineered trees

By Chris Lang

In February 2022, FSC announced that it is starting a “learning process on genetic engineering in forestry outside of FSC-certified area”. According to FSC’s website, “The aim of the FSC GE learning process will be for FSC and its members to gain sufficient and trusted knowledge on developments in genetic engineering in forestry.”

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In denial: FSC’s response to the ARTE documentary

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.

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ARTE Documentary on Veracel, Brazil: Villagers are being “wiped out by eucalyptus”

For the recent ARTE documentary about FSC, journalists Manfred Ladwig and Thomas Reutter travelled to Brazil to take a look at pulp company Veracel’s industrial tree plantations. They travel with Klemens Laschefski, professor of political ecology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

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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?

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FSC-certified company Holmen threatens Swedish high conservation value forests – in violation of FSC standards

The Forest Stewardship Council standard for Sweden “allows forests to be converted into tree plantations, through the use of clear-cut logging, soil scarification (ridging) and chemical fertilisation”, writes Amanda Tas of Protect the Forest in a recent piece on the Plantation Definition Discussion website.

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Corruption scandal: Eucalyptus Fibre Congo accused of paying “black money” in the Republic of Congo, while it was FSC certified

A company called Eucalyptus Fibre Congo S.A. is alleged to have paid at least US$76,500 in “black money” to Congolese public officials in 2012. At the time, the company held an FSC chain of custody certificate.

Three weeks ago, Arnaud Labrousse sent an email to Kim Carstensen, FSC’s Director General. Labrousse has a few questions for FSC. Unfortunately, FSC seems reluctant to answer them.

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