Greenpeace International leaves FSC

Greenpeace International, one of the founding members of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), has not extended its FSC membership. The reasons given for this decision include: inconsistent implementation of forestry and social objectives by the FSC and failures in protection of forests. Furthermore, the environmental organisation criticised a very heterogenous implementation of FSC principles and criteria as well as an orientation which is too commercial. Greenpeace International, however, allows its national representations to maintain their FSC membership in the countries where this is considered worthwhile. At the same time, Greenpeace emphasises that there is no change in its negative stance towards other certification systems.

In its statement about leaving FSC, Greenpeace makes clear that the problem lies in the forests:

"Greenpeace has seen very uneven implementation of FSC principles and criteria globally. In some regions FSC certification improved forestry practices, but in others it fell short of its goals of conserving forests and providing for wider social benefits. This happens in particular in “high risk” regions where democratic and civil society institutions are weak, and corruption is high.

FSC, as a forest certification scheme, is a tool for forestry and timber extraction and Greenpeace believes it is not doing enough on protection. While it has rules for conservation built-in, and can contribute to conservation outcomes, we believe the FSC system is currently focussing on commercial forest operations and needs to carry out improvements to achieve large scale forest protection in all the forest regions of the world."

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