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Greenpeace: Working Together For a Stronger FSC

Greenpeace: Working Together For a Stronger FSC

Amsterdam, June 26, 2013 – Greenpeace International has today published the first set of a series of new case studies highlighting both the positive side of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) system and the areas where the FSC needs to improve to maintain its reputation.

Set up in 1993 to allow companies and the public to identify products coming from responsibly managed forests, the FSC remains the only credible forest management certification system, but two decades later and Greenpeace believes the system is in need of change.

Greenpeace fears that as the system has grown, the FSC's implementation and interpretation of its standards have been watered down. The FSC system must ensure, however, good practices are applied consistently across the globe and Greenpeace is calling on the FSC to take charge and protect its reputation.

"Forest certification plays a valuable role in conserving the world’s forests, but as the FSC continues to expand in the marketplace, it must reassure consumers that its standards will be applied rigorously in all regions," Greenpeace International campaigner Judy Rodrigues said.

The first case study Greenpeace is publishing today looks at good forest management practices, while the other looks at the murkier side of what FSC calls 'controlled wood'.  More case studies will follow in coming weeks.

The Good Side

A great example of FSC-certified forest management can be found in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada where Ecotrust Canada has a certificate for a group of small forest managers located on Vancouver Island and in the Kootenays region in B.C.

The Ecotrust Canada certificate is an example of FSC doing what it was created to do: extract wood using low impact methods that conserve the forest’s ecological and social values.

The Not So Good

Unfortunately, in Scandinavia the mismanagement by companies of what FSC terms controlled wood is threatening the survival of species at risk. They are designating the whole country as low risk for all FSC-controlled wood categories. This is highly problematic for several reasons – which we list in the case study published today.

If the FSC wants to maintain its integrity and consumer trust, the poor practices and abuses linked to procuring controlled wood and other bad forest management need to stop immediately, and practices like those of Ecotrust Canada need to be encouraged.


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