World Rainforest Movement

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Ongoing certification programmes are the result of successful consumer awareness campaigns against the unsustainable exploitation of forests. The public reacted by demanding the possibility of being able to know which products they could buy which had been extracted under socially and environmentally sustainable forest management. Independent certification was therefore required. At the public level, one of the certification schemes which has wider credibility is the FSC, given the direct participation of an important number of NGOs in this process.

The FSC includes plantations within its certification activities and makes explicit a number of criteria in this regard in principle 10. We believe that this principle needs to be improved in a number of ways, particularly taking into account plantation company activities in the South, which -in spite of the negative impacts they generate- might nevertheless receive FSC certification because of compliance with principle 10. If such happened, it would strengthen large-scale plantation companies’ position and weaken local peoples struggles against them.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

– NGOs involved in the FSC could open up a discussion on principle 10 and if they reach a consensus on the need to introduce changes to it, to bring up the issue officially for discussion
– NGOs involved in the FSC could get in contact with other organizations to incorporate their viewpoints on the issue to the discussion
– NGOs not involved in the FSC could also discuss principle 10 and channel their viewpoints to those involved.