Activists from Global Forests Coalition and World Rainforest Movement
made their voices heard at a side event organized by the Forest
Stewardship Council in Bonn. After listening to 45 minutes of polite
chat from the panel about how lovely FSC is, activists held up a
banner reading ?FSC: Stop Certifying Monoculture Tree Plantations?.
They also read out parts of the statement below.
After a couple of questions and a short discussion, Stefan Salvador
from FSC closed the meeting, although several more people wanted to
ask questions and some pointed out that this should be a democratic
space for discussing the problems with FSC.
?Forest certification according to the principles of the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) balances social, environmental and economic
interests. FSC requirements address all core elements of the UN
Convention on Biodiversity. In fact, through FSC certification these
have been successfully implemented in over 100 million ha of forests
around the globe.?
The above statement is posted in FSC?s special section on its web site
titled ?FSC at the UN Conference of Biodiversity.? What the statement
does not say is that the 100 million hectare figure hides millions of
hectares of monoculture tree plantations that have been falsely
certified as ?forests?.
At the same time, it hides the fact that social and environmental
movements from around the world have been for years denouncing tree
plantations and demanding FSC to stop certifying them, because among
many reasons they destroy biodiversity. This demonstrates that FSC is
misleading the CBD with its statement.
Be they plantations of eucalyptus, pine, acacia or oil palm, these
large scale monocultures
are mostly aimed at feeding northern consumers with growing volumes of
raw materials extracted in southern countries at a huge social and
Local communities are displaced to give way to endless rows of
identical trees that displace other life forms in the area. These
plantations not only destroy biodiversity but they also deplete and
pollute water resources while soils become degraded. Human rights
violations are rife, ranging from the loss of livelihoods and
displacement, to repression and even cases of torture and death.
Apart from having to confront governments and corporations, local
communities struggling against large-scale monoculture tree
plantations must face the additional problem posed by the fact that
these same plantations are being given credibility through
certification by the FSC. In fact, most core elements of the
Convention on Biodiversity have been effectively violated in those
millions of hectares of certified plantations around the globe.
Certification of plantations by FSC is symptomatic of the dominance of
corporate interests in FSC. The credibility of FSC is increasingly
undermined by certification of these and other destructive projects.
Nowadays FSC?s decision-making is controlled by corporate interests
which try to convince consumers that buying more timber products is
good for biodiversity. This is undermining the efforts of
environmental organizations, which are working on educating consumers
on the need to reduce consumption.
Plantations are not forests and FSC should not certify them!
FSC should STOP being a tool for corporate interests!