Eco-timber certification label loses eco-credibility

Friday, October 24, 2014

An East Gippsland sawmill is in the process of applying for the very same timber certification label that has been condemned by environment groups across the country this week, after the logging of WA’s 600 year old Karri forests was given a ‘green tick’.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global timber certifying body which outsources the inspection of forest logging operations. The auditors measure a number of criteria to ensure the wood is obtained in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

VB compliance certificate

“Environment East Gippsland, as a member group of the FSC, is now extremely cautious of the plan to gain FSC certification by one of the region’s sawmills”, said Jill Redwood.

“The ease at which unscrupulous auditing companies can be employed to simply tick the boxes without ensuring proper compliance or accountability is concerning. It is discrediting certified timber in general and the FSC name in particular.

“Montana sawmill in Nowa Nowa is proposing to log the coastal and foothill forest durable timber trees and is investigating the burning of unwanted trees in an electricity furnace.

“In West Australia, the government logging entity has just been given the OK to destroy the habitat of over 15 rare and threatened species, and sell the timber as environmentally kosher under the FSC label. This should alert everyone to the possibility of similar outcomes for Montana mill’s plan to gain FSC certification here.

“We would encourage all community stakeholders involved in this plan to have their sham detectors well and truly on high alert.

“To gain a green badge on native forest timber, the company must genuinely earn it, not simply employ an auditing company that gives away certificates to ensure future business.

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