Rainforest Alliance Smartwood

Things not improving in Rio Platano, Honduras – more questions for Rainforest Alliance and FSC

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.

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SIFORCO in DR Congo: nice certificates, shame about the arrests, beatings, burning and rapes

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.

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“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.

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FSC is greenwashing Brazil’s monoculture tree plantations: Part 2

Last week, journalist Fred Pearce investigated Ryman’s claims of “carbon neutral” office paper in his “Greenwash” column in The Guardian. It turns out that the raw material for Ryman’s paper comes from Suzano’s monoculture eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. Suzano’s FSC-Certified monoculture eucalyptus plantations, that is.

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FSC, Hancock and Smartwood Selling Out the Gippsland Environment

Last month, FSC-Watch received the following post about SmartWood’s certification of Hancock Victorian Plantations. Early in February, a large area of Hancock’s plantations burned down: part of the tragic fires which saw the loss of more than 200 lives and 1,800 homes. More information about the fires is available here.

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Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB): myth of biodiversity protection evaporates as new evidence shows impacts on elephants

A new research paper (see abstract below) on the behavioural patterns of forest elephants has dealt a major blow to the myth of ‘sustainable logging’ in the rainforests of the Congo Basin. One of the areas specifically referred to in the paper as being negatively impacted is covered by the concessions of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) that is currently being ‘pre-assessed’ for FSC certification by Rainforest Alliance SmartWood.

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Greenpeace exposes FSC’s ‘Controlled Wood’ fiction: Finland logging ‘Out of Control’

A new report from Greenpeace published this month confirms what this website has beenwarning for nearly two years: that the FSC’s so-called Controlled Wood Policy is a shambles, and is allowing wood from highly unacceptable sources into the FSC certified chain of custody.

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FSC undermines paper recycling, contributes to global warming

FSC-Watch receives many queries and messages of concern, including from industry, as to why the FSC is helping to undermine efforts at paper recycling by allowing the certification of paper with little or no recycled content. We have now received the following article from the May/June 2008 Eco-Journal of the Manitoba Eco-Network, Canada, which we are happy to reproduce.

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