WSJ inquiry pushes FSC to cancel logging certification in endangered forest
October 30, 2007
The admission by the FSC, which has come under fire of late from environmentalists for relaxing its certification standards to the point at which APP could qualify for the eco-label despite a poor environmental record, threatens to undermine the credibility of its labeling scheme.
"Companies are free-riding on our name," Andre de Freitas, head of operations at the FSC, told The Wall Street Journal. "I feel bad about it."
Logging and oil palm plantations in Sumatra.
Large-scale deforestation in Sumatra. Images courtesy of Google Earth and the NASA Earth Observatory
"If they [APP] can get an FSC accreditation, there must be something wrong with the system," Nazir Foead, director of the Indonesian-species program at the Geneva-based World Wildlife Fund, told The Wall Street Journal.
In response to inquiries from the newspaper, the FSC this month proposed stricter rules for certification. The regulations would ban any company known to be destroying rainforests or engaging in illegal logging from using the FSC's label.
"This is a significant change in the FSC systems, although it addresses an issue which has concerned FSC stakeholders for many years," said the FSC in a statement.
SGS, the auditor paid by APP to win certification for the eco-label, claims that the moves will hurt the FSC's client base.
The proposed rules, he told the paper, "will surely drive away most of the big players in tropical forestry."
CITATION: TOM WRIGHT and JIM CARLTON (2007). FSC's 'Green' Label for Wood Products Gets Growing Pains. The Wall Street Journal. October 30, 2007; Page B1