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September 23, 2008

RELEASE: Friends of the Earth Rejects Forest Stewardship Council

PRESS/SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASE

Major victory for Ecological Internet's campaign to end ancient forest logging as key response to climate and biodiversity crises

By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
Dr. Glen Barry, glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

FSC logging destroys ancient forests(Earth) -- Friends of the Earth (FoE) is the first major international NGO to confirm they no longer support Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification [search], which falsely suggests primary and old-growth forest logging is desirable and even sustainable, and that plantations are forests. This is a major victory for those including Ecological Internet (EI) and FSC-Watch[1] who have courageously taken on large environmental interests using FSC to greenwash ancient forest destruction.

FoE pioneered timber certification during the 1980s and was one of FSC's founders, but FoE International in Amsterdam has confirmed that it is now "reviewing" its membership of the organization. FoE UK announced on their website[2] they are "deeply concerned by the number of FSC certifications that are now sparking controversy and threatening the credibility of the scheme. We cannot support a scheme that fails to guarantee high environmental and social standards. As a result we can no longer recommend the FSC standard."

"FoE is to be commended for their courage in admitting all forest certification schemes including FSC are failing forests, climate and peoples globally. FSC plantation and ancient forest logging standards have been shown to be a fraud -- business as usual forest destruction. We welcome reports that other European NGOs may follow FoE's lead, and demand that Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace and WWF stop their stonewalling and follow suit, or face escalating disruptive protests" warns Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet's President. "Then together as one we can work to end ancient forest logging."

EI has long sought protection for all the Earth's remaining primary and old-growth forests. These efforts were stymied by large environmental bureaucracies falsely suggesting cutting carbon and species rich, centuries old trees is an environmental good. It became obvious the world's forests could only be protected, and global ecological sustainability achieved, if groups supporting FSC were confronted. Our protest campaign launched last year, assisted by recent overwhelming ecological science showing old-growth forests continue to store and remove carbon and are essential to fighting climate change[3].

More Information:
[1] For more information see http://www.fsc-watch.org/
[2] See their statement at: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/faqs/sustainable_timber_fsc.html
[3] See earlier EI release at:
http://forests.org/blog/2008/09/feature-old-growth-carbon-find.asp

###ENDS###

Dr. Glen Barry is a global spokesperson on behalf of global environmental sustainability policy. Ecological Internet provides the world's leading climate and environment portals at http://www.climateark.org/ and http://www.ecoearth.info/. Dr. Barry frequently conducts interviews on the latest climate, forest and water policy developments and can be reached at: glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org, +1 (920) 664-1965.


Comments

fantastic news lets keep the great work going

Yay!! Thank you for all your hard work in the face of adversity, Glen, and
for being a huge part of what made this happen!

Leha

Yes, this is a big victory.
Cheers, Pete

It is about time they got off the fence.

Will the fat cats in greenpeace and WWF now join FoE and assist Sustainable Forest Management or will they stay on the fence and pretend they do not know the difference between forests and plantations????????

Dear Dr. Barry,
I'm afraid that I am too much of a realist to be happy about the FoE idea of dropping out of FSC. Does anyone really think that logging will stop, that untrained workers in logging camps will not continue to be maimed and killed, and that needless and avoidable losses in biodiversity and ecosystem functions if FSC stops trying to reward the good (or at least better) firms? I doubt it.

Happy to provide more input, if this is an informed debate and not just a reaction of wealthy non-tropical environmentalists without interest in reality.

Sincerely,

Francis E. Putz

Dear Glen
better late than never - keep at it
Aubrey

Well done,
~~~~~^^^^~~~~~simon
simon gould

An interesting and timely intervention!
Okay, by this action we will have put some brakes on the "greenwash" by the FSC .
Depending on the media attention this is given, it will take a long time before it has any effect on businessses and the man in the street buying timber.
Will the FSC label be discredited forever, or will FSC improve their act, and thus perpetuate the label, or will a new regulatory body emerge?
The follow up action should be interesting.
Regards
Bill

awesome

Hi read something in Private Eye (latest issue) that FSC have sanctioned turning Bintree Forest in Norfolk into a huge quarry and landfill site! That was nice of them wasn't it...

I'm not 100% supported FSC, however, neither I'm not sure that your action will lead to the better old growth forest conservation. The problem is more than complicated, especially for the south countries. I'm rather like the idea to improve the system, by law enforcement or something else.