FSC: Increasingly alone in the path of tree plantation certification

WRM default image

Up to last year, the Forest Stewardship Council had certified 8.6 million hectares of industrial tree plantations despite ample evidence regarding the social and environmental unsustainability of large scale monoculture tree plantations.

Aware that the FSC-seal might serve mostly for corporate greenwashing, one by one NGOs have been withdrawing from the international certification organization, which has increasingly lost credibility regarding this issue. 

Now it has been the German environmental organization Robin Wood which left FSC International after having been a member for over twelve years. The reason for this move, as they explain it, “is above all, that industrial monocultures like eucalyptus plantations also receive the FSC-seal.” “ROBIN WOOD doesn’t feel it is justifiable that huge eucalyptus and pine cultures in countries of the global south like Brazil, South Africa or Uruguay should carry the FSC-seal. The expansion of these plantations often displaces the local population from its traditional living spaces, which in turn leads to significant social conflicts. Moreover, these monocultures are cultivated with agrochemicals and chemical fertilizer. Therefore they are from the point of view of ROBIN WOOD neither ecologically compatible nor socially just”, states a press release of the organization.

“We no longer want to bear the joint responsibility for the fact that industrial monocultures receive a ‘green fig leaf’ by the FSC”, explains Peter Gerhardt, responsible for tropical forests with ROBIN WOOD.

Source: “ROBIN WOOD leaves FSC-International”, ROBIN WOOD

Press Release, Hamburg, 16 March 2009. For further information:

Peter Gerhardt, tropical forests, tropenwald@robinwood.deRudolf Fenner, wald@robinwood.de