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Action Alert: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Is Primary Forest Logging: Clearing Rainforests for Plantations Is NOT Sustainable, Members Must Stop Greenwash or Resign

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) brand gets 70% of its timber and pulp by greenwashing current and planned destruction of 130,000,000 hectares of primary rainforests and other old forests – an area the size of South Africa. This past week - at FSC’s tri-annual General Assembly in Malaysia – the "sustainable" old forest logging greenwash worsened, as FSC voted (seconded by Greenpeace) to start certifying plantation timbers from land cleared of primary rainforests as being "sustainable". Being the best ecocidal rainforest destroyer is nothing to be proud of – all such deadly old forest certification schemes must stop. Please call upon all FSC members to reject the certification of primary forests by resigning immediately, as many others have recently done. Further, demand FSC immediately stop certifying primary forest logging or disband itself. Thank you for participating in EI's on-going global campaign to end primary forest logging, and to protect and restore old forests, as keystone responses to abrupt climate change, biodiversity loss, global ecosystem collapse, and abject poverty and inequity.

By, a project of EcoInternet - June 30, 2011

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Additional Background


The Forest Stewardship Council has voted this last Friday to certify plantations from cleared primary rainforests and other old forests as being sustainable, with 62% of its 'environmental' chamber in support. The motion was apparently seconded by Greenpeace! FSC and participating greenwash NGOs are aiming ancient rainforest destruction for monoculture toxic plantations deserves FSC certification has shown clearly FSC is a greenwash scam.

FSC Motion 18 which was approved allows plantations established since 1994 on cleared rainforests to be certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. They had rightly been excluded since FSC inception in order to not promote primary rainforest conversion to plantations, but now the flood gate is wide open. Greenpeace and RAN aren't talking, but I reckon they think tree plantations - be they heavily logged and now secondary forests, or monocultures - are better than outright deforestation of primary and old growth forests.

There are others like EI that understand we have already lost more intact terrestrial ecosystems including old forests than the biosphere can bear. We will fight for each old forest and their peoples, understanding when ecosystem collapse comes, having as many intact ecosystems for restoration as possible will be key to any sort of ecology and human recovery. We ecologists know that primary forests are destroyed when greatly ecologically reduced from first time industrial logging, and that plantations are not forests, much less when planted on cleared primary rainforests. Posers like Greenpeace and RAN don't get it because by and large they are marketers and accountants, elite liberal arts grads, and not ecologists.

Ecological Internet reiterates calls for Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace International to resign from FSC's primary forest destroying greenwash, and announce their vote on "motion 18". The good news is the pictured boreal forest clearcut for toilet paper is now sustainable!

Misguided Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) support for logging primary rainforests and other old forests has gotten so bad, that this week at their FSC General Assembly in Malaysia, FSC votes whether clearing primary rainforests for plantations will be certified by FSC as sustainable. FSC was created in 1993 to “promote responsible management of the world’s forests”, yet has failed miserably. FSC certifies as “sustainable” the logging of over a hundred million hectares of primary and old-growth forests – hundreds of year old trees in millions of year old naturally evolved ecosystems – for lawn furniture, toilet paper and other throw-away consumer items. Many environmentalists initially supported FSC, expecting it would reduce logging of primary and old growth forests, and result in more community based eco-forestry. Instead, FSC and members have built a massive market for primary forest timbers, and become a major driver of primary forest destruction and forest ecological diminishment.

FSC is now about getting out the primary forest cut – estimated at 70% of FSC timber and pulp - and claiming carbon forestry (logging primary forests to plant new plantations) is a climate change solution. Primary forests logged industrially for the first time – FSC certified or otherwise – are destroyed. What remains is permanently ecologically diminished in terms of composition, structure, function and dynamics. Logged primary forests' carbon stores, biodiversity and ecosystems will never be the same in any reasonable time-span. Selective, industrially logged rainforests become fragmented, burn more and are prone to outright deforestation. While other certification schemes are even worse, this is not the issue, as industrial first-time primary forest logging cannot be done ecologically sustainably and should not be happening at all. Ecological Internet is not the only organization concerned, as FERN – an important European NGO – recently resigned from FSC over these very ecological concerns - joining a growing list.

Best estimates from two independent studies are FSC has already certified the first time industrial logging of sixty-five million hectares (about 150 million acres) of primary and old-growth forests, and an equal amount is threatened in FSC's plans for coming years. These 130,000,000 hectares are nearly 460,000 square miles of primary and other old forests destruction – an area the size of South Africa, or nearly two times the size of Texas! But no one really knows the full extent of the problem, as FSC says it does not compile how many old forests it certifies for first time heavy industrial logging (how convenient). After years of campaigning against Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network – two key co-founders and supporters of FSC’s primary forest logging – and FSC itself; EI's genuine ecology concerns have been met with nothing but stonewalling, censoring and vilification. No one within FSC will say how many hectares of primary forests FSC has certified for industrial logging, how much more is planned, and explained in detail how logging primary forest protects them.

FSC must commit to ending its certification of any primary forests. In light of current and emerging ecosystem, biodiversity and climate science; it is clear that FSC certification for industrial primary and old-growth logging is antiquated and dangerous. Only 10% of any FSC certified item need come from a certified source anyway, and what is certified is mostly murdered primary forest. FSC should meet market demand for well-managed forest timbers by certifying only 1) small scale community eco-forestry practiced by local peoples in primary forests, 2) regenerating and aging secondary forests, and 3) non-toxic and mixed species plantations. Further, reducing demand for all timber and paper products is key to living ecologically sustainably with old forests.

The grassroots global forest protection movement has to commit to fully protecting and restoring old carbon, species and ecosystem service rich forests as a keystone response to achieve global ecological sustainability – and to confronting our wayward brethren that think that logging primary forests protects them – or risk becoming irrelevant as global ecosystems collapse.


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FSC is primary forest logging - now claiming plantations from cleared primary rainforests and other old forests are sustainable
FSC old growth forest logging in Canadian boreal to produce FSC certified toilet paper! To solve climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem and biosphere crises - while meeting local needs from standing old forests - requires old forest protection and restoration.  (link)

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