Rainforest Solutions Project

Promoting conservation and economic alternatives in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest


Greens accuse certification schemes of rubber-stamping bad practices

April 7, 2003

Environmental groups have launched an attack on the two main forest certification schemes in North America, accusing them of “rubber- stamping” bad logging practices. ForestEthics, Greenpeace Canada and Sierra Club of Canada spoke out against the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) after their report “On the ground: Green Stamp of Approval or Rubber Stamp of Destruction” was released during the recent Certification Watch conference in Vancouver.

The report was written by Ananda Lee Tan, the director of the Canadian Reforestation and Environmental Workers Society, which is a member of the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) social chamber. It warns it is “buyers beware” when it comes to industry-backed certification schemes which, it says, claim environmental responsibility but deliver ecological destruction. It says the CSA and the SFI allow expansions of tree farms, damage to drinking water, fisheries and streamside forests and continued loss of natural forests. It also says the Forest Stewardship Council is the only credible and environmentally responsible forest certification system in North America.

The Forest Products Association of Canada responded by saying all certification schemes are tools which improve forestry practices. It has focused attention on adoption of three certification standards, the CSA, FSC and SFI, because “no one organisation or stakeholder can claim to have the only sound approach to third party certification”.