2012 / 12 / 20

Environmental organizations are concerned with the state of voluntary forest certification in Russia.

The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace Russia, NGO Transparent World, Foundation Silver Taiga and Karelian environmental organization SPOK sent an appeal to the Executive Director of the International Centre of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Kim Carstensen with a request to increase the power of the national FSC office in Russia, and to establish a Russian office of the Accreditation organization FSC – the supervisory authority of the Forest Stewardship Council – in order for it to be able to participate in the resolution of arising conflicts between stakeholders and to ensure the quality of FSC-certification. As is said in the message, environmental organizations are concerned with the current state of forest certification in Russia. “In many cases, the environmental criteria of FSC standards are given very little attention, and the companies receive certificates without any noticeable changes in their extensive forest exploitation”, – remarked the environmentalists.

“This appeal is due, in particular, because of the situation in the Far East, where certified companies cut down forests of high conservation value, and the auditors do not deprive them of their certificates. Another example of a conflict situation is the work of a major timber company Rusforest, which rents about 1.5 million hectares of forest in the European part of Russia and Siberia. Almost a third of this area are old-growth forests, to be preserved by the standards of FSC. However, cuttings are carried out by the company, and, despite this, the auditors issued them a certificate. Fortunately, in Karelia, there are so far no such conflicts, but we need a Russian supervisory authority, which could, if necessary, intervene in a disputable situation and carry out its verdict “- explained Alexander Markovsky, the head of SPOK, to the Forest portal of Karelia.

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