In 2007, FSC certifying body SGS began the certification process for Veracel Celulose in Bahia, Brazil, in accordance with the FSC’s principles and criteria. Veracel is a joint venture between the Swedish-Finnish transnational Stora Enso and Brazilian-based Fibria (formerly Aracruz). It controls some 100,000 hectares of monoculture eucalyptus plantations geared to the production of pulp for export, within a total area of over 200,000 hectares. It is currently working on doubling its pulp mill production capacity and plantations.
Issue 163 – February 2011
FSC continues certifying the uncertifiable
FSC CONTINUES CERTIFYING THE UNCERTIFIABLE
28 February 2011Companies that promote large-scale monoculture tree plantations do not seek the FSC label solely to increase the value of their final products. There are also companies that use the FSC for a very specific and very different purpose: obtaining certification to sell carbon credits. This is the case of Plantar, a company based in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Over 10 years ago, Plantar presented a carbon trade project proposal to the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund (PFC). The Fund was seeking carbon trade pilot projects to be executed through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in various sectors of production, so that these “good” examples could later be replicated.
28 February 2011Since 1974, industrial monoculture tree plantations have spread throughout Chile, and are particularly concentrated in the regions of Bío-Bío and Araucanía, although they are also found in the regions of Maule, Los Ríos and Los Lagos.
28 February 2011GeaSphere is an environmental pressure group working towards a more sustainable model of living based on lower impact agriculture practices that are environmentally sustainable, socially just and which ensures food security and promotes locally based economies and poverty alleviation in the southern African region. A major threat to the local integrated environment is the large scale industrial timber plantation industry, responsible for the transformation of millions of hectares of bio diverse grasslands, the primary vegetation type in most of Southern Africa’s timber growing regions.
28 February 2011For many years now, WRM has stressed that it is unacceptable to certify large-scale industrial monoculture tree plantations. The main target has been the FSC, because it portrays itself to the world as the most reliable and respected label for wood products, and also because its members include numerous non-governmental organizations. The FSC has already certified millions of hectares of monoculture tree plantations and continues to do so. One example is the certification scheduled for this February/March of Chikweti Forests of Niassa, a company that has caused major problems for peasant farmer communities in the province of Niassa, in northern Mozambique (seewww.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/161/Mozambique.html).
COMMUNITIES AND FORESTS
28 February 2011Indonesia is a crucial country for REDD. It has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world. And, as a direct result of this deforestation (particularly the destruction of peatswamp forests) Indonesia is the world’s third highest emitter of carbon dioxide. There is currently a battle going on over Indonesia’s forests between the industries that have long benefited from forest destruction and those who want to see the forest sector overhauled. While REDD is often described as a win-win arrangement, the battle in Indonesia is a distinctly win-lose battle. If the industry wins, the forests and the people living in and near forests lose.
28 February 2011On January 31, 2011, the Indian movement POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (POSCO Resistance Struggle Movement) issued a press release to denounce Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s decision to approve the POSCO India Steel-Power Production-Captive Port project (http://wrm.org.uy/countries/India/OK_POSCO_project.pdf). In previous bulletins (see WRM Bulletins 147, 155, 157) we have disseminated the struggle of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti against the massive project of Pohang Steel Company (POSCO), a Korean concern largely held by US financial institutions already infamous for their lack of social responsibility: Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and Chase.
28 February 2011Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) is a giant pulp and paper company with a notorious eco-criminal record. It is responsible of deforesting Indonesian forests and peatlands in Riau province, Sumatra, destroying the territory and livelihoods of indigenous communities who have been living there for centuries and threatening the survival of some of them as well as leading Sumatran tigers, elephants and orangutans to the verge of extinction. On top of that APP has been causing the emission of millions of tons of greenhouse gas liberated from the clearance of peat forests that once the soil is drained it oxidizes.
28 February 2011In our first bulletin of the year, in light of the fact that 2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests, we shared with you the idea of defining the forest by its true meaning, as a diverse ecosystem that sustains countless forms and ways of life, rich in colours, textures, aromas and sounds. We’re not looking for a technical, dictionary definition. Our idea is to collectively construct a mosaic of meanings, experiences and dreams, images, poems and songs, and even fears, that speak about forests. A friend of WRM from Chile wrote to tell us, “If the forests ever disappear, that is when we will know true hell on earth.”