FSC Failing the World’s Forests

FSC logging failing forestsMongabay reports that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is coming under increasingly harsh criticism [ark]. EcoInternet (EI) and many others believe FSC is imploding as claims of environmental and social benefits of certified ancient forest logging [search] and industrial monoculture plantations [search] are exposed as myths. FSC's future (if it is to have one) depends upon changing its guidelines to end support for both business as usual old-growth logging and large-scale monoculture plantations.
If unwilling to end their involvement in ancient forest logging, FSC and supporters must be protested until they are shutdown [alert]. Global ecological sustainability depends critically upon strictly protecting all remaining relatively natural ecosystems, particularly primary forests. All ancient forests are of high conservation value. There is no alternative to continued logging of centuries old trees found in primary forests. The era of ancient forest logging must end if global ecological collapse is to be averted.


There may be a role for certification of plantations and regenerating forests, yet these FSC certifications are also troubled by conflicts of interests by certifiers, flawed certifications in violation of guidelines, and terribly insufficient standards for industrial monoculture-based plantations. Only management of natural mixed species, toxic free and community supported secondary and planted forests is worthy of claims of being environmentally and socially beneficial.
It is ludicrous to expect the public to differentiate FSC certification from other “green” seals and business as usual industrial ancient and plantation logging. A much more truthful, ecologically sufficient and accessible public message is that all ancient forest logging must end as a matter of planetary survival, and we must meet our needs for wood products from regenerating, ecologically managed natural forests for the benefit of local peoples.
Once united behind a goal of ending ancient forest logging, the forest protection movement can work to end all industrial destruction and gain permanent protections for all remaining primary and old-growth forests (with appropriate compensation and continued small scale use for local peoples), promote the ecological restoration and certified management of regenerating and planted natural forest ecosystems, and assist local peoples with community based eco-development projects based upon growing secondary and standing ancient forests. This is the sufficient, ecology and people based forest protection agenda, and the only one worthy of your support.

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7 Responses

  1. FSC has lost much its credibility (if it every had any) Part of the problem is that there are many organisations around the world who conduct FSC audits – and some of them simply aren't capable of conducting an unbiased audit.

  2. Steve Lawson says:

    Hello Glen, thanks for your clear and honest vision and promoting this, it is crucial at this time on the planet if we are to survive. Years ago we heard about a type of forestry done in Finland of single stem logging on a small scale of the type that might be suitable for second and third growth forests in western North America. In the old North American Native way of relating to the forest, you could take what you needed but it would be augmenting and enhancing the forest values so that both benefitted, both the people and the forest. Perhaps you know of any place this is happening in Scandinavia and could be used as an example. All cutting of old growth primary forest needs to stop soon or there will be no blue print left and no need for protection nor logging as so little is left. All the best to you , For All Our Relations, Susanne Hare and STeve Lawson

  3. Jonathan Boulton says:

    May I applaud and promote the work of 'The Woodland Trust' in the United Kingdom (UK).
    The Woodland Trust work to purchase and protect ancient woodland in the UK. They also purchase adjoining land to expand these ancient ecosystems.
    Do you or others know of simmiler organisations the world over? And if so, do you know of any CONCERTED efforts by these organisations.
    Our problems can not be faced alone – only international cooperation will see the results we know possible – the world we dream of.
    Keep up the great work Dr G!

  4. John PEACE says:

    NO FORESTS! NO FUTURE!
    See http://www.youtube.com/ForestWatch1

  5. To Steve Lawson – are you thinking of the selective way of tree felling in old forests (maybe this project http://www.springerlink.com/content/v35040m134t352t1/ ) There has been a similar recent project in Sweden (paper on results at http://www.skogsstyrelsen.se/episerver4/dokument/sks/aktuellt/press/2008/Hyggesfritt%20skogsbruk%20meddelande.pdf if you understand Swedish)
    To Jonathan Boulton, the Nature Conservancy works in a similar way, as does Sweden's A click for the forests.

  6. Phil Westwood says:

    To Jonathan Bolton, In Victoria, one of the southern States in Australia, the Trust for Nature also acts in a similar way. It is currently involved in a major program to protect old growth forest in the Strzeleckis.

  7. FSC needs to be stronger. However, UK shops are mostly selling wood products that have a certificate that takes a lot less trouble than FSC does. I was told about a year back by some one representing FSC at a meeting that they often have a lot sitting in warehouses not being sold, because shops are not bothering to be careful what they sell.

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