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Timberlands breach of Forest Stewardship Council

Auckland: 20th August 2001: Greenpeace today claimed Timberlands is ‘greenwashing’ and in serious breach of the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) certification standards.

"Timberlands continues logging in South Westland's ancient forests, already dedicated for protection. Clearly this does not demonstrate a commitment to conserve biodiversity and maintain high conservation value forests as required by the FSC," said Grant Rosoman, Greenpeace forests and certification campaigner in New Zealand.

"Further, Timberlands West Coast Ltd are not certified as they claim, only their plantation management was issued with an FSC certificate," said Rosoman.

"This basically constitutes 'greenwash' and contravenes what claims can be made under the FSC system. The FSC doesn't certify companies but rather 'Forest Management Units'."

During the Timberlands plantation certification evaluation Greenpeace and most other New Zealand environmental NGOs issued certification body SGS Qualifor and their Wellington-based subcontracted group FORME Consulting with a statement outlining their objections as to why Timberlands plantations cannot be FSC certified until at a minimum they stop the logging of the South Westland ancient rimu forests (statement attached below).

Greenpeace today began the process of disputing the certificate and the claims made by Timberlands with the FSC accredited certification body SGS Qualifor and FORME Consulting who issued the certificate.

The FSC is a multistakeholder international forest certification body that accredits certifying bodies such as SGS to carry out certification evaluations of forest management and forest product 'Chain of Custody'. The FSC is the only international certification system that has the support of environmental non-governmental organisations, has clear performance-based standards, and is independent of governments and industry. It has certified over 24 million hectares of forests and plantations is 35 countries around the world. In New Zealand there are currently five FSC forest management certificates and several Chain-of- Custody certificates.

It was announced by the Government on May 1st 2001 that the South Westland forests would be tranferred to the Department of Conservation. Also in December 2000 the Government wrote to Timberlands directing them to amend their corporate intent to exclude native timber logging.

Contacts: Grant Rosoman, Greenpeace forests campaigner, Ph: 03 382 5476 or mob: 025 6064752 Brendan Lynch, communications officer, mob: 025 790 817

Brendan Lynch Communications Officer Greenpeace New Zealand Ph: +64-9-630-6317 Mobile 025 790 817 Fax: +64-9-630-7121 Brendan.Lynch@nz.greenpeace.org

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