By: Teguh Iman Affandi
On 14 October 2022 in Bali, Indonesia, the Forest Stewardess Council (FSC) ratified Motion 37/2021 at the General Assembly part II.
Motion 37/2022 proposes a change in FSC policy regarding the cut-off date from 1994 to 2020 means corporations that do logging before 2020 have the opportunity to obtain FSC certification.
On its website, the FSC stated that with this Motion 37/2022, the FSC would be relevant in land restoration because it provides incentives from the market and would give restoration of degraded and deforested land. The motion shows a route for how millions of forests will be restored and FSC certified, then managed responsibly under FSC principles and criteria.
FSC certification is a scheme that ensures that the products produced come from responsibly managed forests, which provide environmental, social and economic benefits. The FSC certificate is voluntary, in contrast to the SVLK developed by stakeholders in Indonesia which is mandatory for timber commodity business actors.
Motion 37/2022 was rejected by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). In a media brief distributed via its website, Gemma Tillack, Director of Forest Policy, stated that Motion 37/2021 determines whether the FSC as a certification system can be trusted. “This is a make-or-break moment for the credibility of the FSC. The decisions made by its members at this General Assembly will determine if the FSC can be trusted as a certification system for global users of paper and timber products.”
Tillack is not sure that the recovery scheme contained in the 37/2021 motion will have much effect. The track record of the FSC in making a recovery is not convincing. Tillack said many communities have complained to the FSC regarding the certifications it has issued, but they have not received any remedies until now. “While the FSC claims that moving the cut-off date will enable it to play a role in restoring previously converted forests and remedying social harm, FSC’s track record does not inspire confidence. Countless communities who have filed complaints against FSC certified members have still not received remedy.”