Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘Forest Stewardship Council’

LEED Certification: The Experts Meet the Activists

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 10 aprile 2012

All is not well with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As more stakeholders come out in support of reforming the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED certification policy, FSC is fighting tooth and nail to maintain its monopoly, a position that has been bad value for both consumers and taxpayers. But this ongoing fight is all the more damaging because FSC and their fellow greens appear to have lost support from one of their most dependable allies—organized labor. As we have already highlighted, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) have declared their support for LEED to include wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), one of FSC’s competing certifiers. But just when the split between green groups and organized labor is become more and more apparent, noted forestry companies such as Cross & Crown in Oregon are also becoming much more vocal in their support to reform LEED. In fact, Robert A. Luoto, the owner of Cross & Crown, went as far to claim that by “giving preferential treatment to FSC, which has 90 percent of its certified land outside the United States, USGBC discourages the use of timber and other forest by‑products harvested on three million acres of lands certified to the SFI Standard in Oregon alone.” Without reform, USGBC is jeopardizing the future of the American forestry industry, especially small landholders who simply can’t afford to comply with FSC’s unnecessary standards. But without the support of unions, business and small landholders, FSC are looking increasingly isolated. Unlike SFI, FSC is thoroughly ideological and has pursed market interference measures both domestically and internationally. But with so much at stake, FSC’s real motives are gradually being found out. It’s therefore hardly surprising that with LEED reforms on the horizon, this debate would juxtapos e the experts against the activists. And there are no prizes for guessing which side is which.

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Greens Isolated as Unions Fight Back Against FSC

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 3 aprile 2012

Late last year, we highlighted Governor Paul LePage’s executive order on building certification standards, specifically his efforts to allow Maine “to source wood products from various certification schemes, such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).” Governor LePage is not a lonely voice, with support emerging from across the political spectrum from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW ) to inject greater competition into the certification process, specifically to allow SFI-certified products to be used by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its LEED rating system. Moves to rationalize the LEED rating system are long overdue, but this doesn’t mean that the Forest Stewardship Council will stand idly by and protect their monopoly.The IAMAW’s support is a major blow for the greens and their attempts to monopolize certification in the forestry industry through the Forest Stewardship Council. USGBC now finds itself under growing pressure to put an end to their senseless – and politically motivated – support of FSC and embrace the bipartisan solutions being put forward by Republicans and unions to overhaul its LEED rating system. But what’s most damning is that IAMAW cites its preference for SFI over FSC because the latter is often “vulnerable to the whims of large special interest groups who are able to dictate outcomes that in the past have been harmful to workers, their communities, and forest health.” Of course, we could not agree more. It’s time for USGBC to drop its blind loyalty to F SC. American workers and, most of all, taxpayers deserve better.

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Levi’s Hoists the Green Flag

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 22 gennaio 2012


Image by Ecotrust Canada via Flickr

Under pressure from radicals like the Rainforest Action Network, Levi Strauss & Company announced that they would become the latest company to surrender to the greens’ onslaught against private business and low consumer costs. In a statement the company revealed that they would “not knowingly purchase wood and paper products from endangered forests and other highly controversial sources such as high-risk regions for illegal logging.” In previous newsletters we documented how Greenpeace was caught playing fast and loose with the truth by repeatedly alleging that tests conducted by Integrat ed Paper Services show that Asian paper manufacturers were somehow using illegal timber fibers. The facts proved otherwise and IPS denied such claims. IPS has even stated, “we are unable to comment on the credibility of the statements Greenpeace has made regarding country of origin” of IPS’ paper samples. Not only did this saga demonstrate how low radical greens would stoop in order to undermine economic growth in the developing world, but it also revealed how these groups use false smears to deceive businesses. In particular, Levi’s now claims it will only source paper products from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The flaws associated with FSC’s standards have been well documented in these newsletters. In particular, a recent report revealed that while Greenpeace and their green lackeys go on the offensive, their very own FSC contains species listed as endangered b y the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), most notably the red lauan.

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Luton Council Embraces FSC, Wastes Taxpayer Money

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 4 novembre 2011

Luton Town Hall

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a little odd. Most of the British news stories that have made it across the Atlantic in the last year have either related to the Royal Wedding or to the coalition government’s budget cuts. According to most reports, the Brits have been tightening their belts due to the fiscal mess that the coalition government inherited from their socialist predecessors. But it seems that not everyone in Britain is getting the message. Luton Borough Council, a local government outside of London, has just pledged that, after pressure from WWF, it will commit “to buy only wood products such as paper, furniture, fencing and doors that come from recycled and certified sources such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).” Given that FSC’s entire purpose is to inflate costs and protect market share for Western companies, Luton’s residents should be infuriated. In an age of austerity when local services are being cut, residents of Luton will have to pay so their elected councilors can have new – and expensive – furnishings.

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Andy Tait and Greenpeace – Deported from Indonesia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 ottobre 2011

night view of Jakarta, Indonesia

Image via Wikipedia

Poor old Andy Tait. In the Guardian this week, the Greenpeace “freedom fighter” writes a martyr’s note about how he was deported from Indonesia because of his supposed work promoting greater land conservation in the country. Despite his endeavors to portray himself as a man with Indonesia’s interests at heart, Tait actually spearheads a campaign that imperils the economic development of Indonesia and severely undermines job creation, and perhaps stability of the country. One need not look any further than Tait’s remarks about why he is campaigning in Indonesia. Tait’s entire modus operandi is to promote forestry standards endorsed by Greenpeace, namely that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As we have highlighted on a number of occasions, the entire FSC campaign is an attempt by Greenpeace and other radical green groups to control the standardization process in forestry products. Thus, Greenpeace has bullied private business for years, smearing some of the most reputable global brands in an attempt to coerce them into embracing FSC-endorsed products. What’s more, Tait is pretty upfront about this.In his Guardian piece, Tait notes that he is in “regular contact” with major international businesses. To say “regular contact” is somewhat misleading when one considers the lengths that Greenpeace go to in order to coerce private businesses. But what’s at stake here is much greater than Tait’s ability to visit Indonesia. As more and more businesses capitulate to Greenpeace’s radical agenda the developing world becomes poorer and poorer. This is bad enough, but FSC and Greenpeace are actually promulgating forestry standards that are – by their very nature – severely flawed and destructive. A recent report by the Congress of Racial Equality recently reveals FSC products contain red lauan (shorea), a critically endangered tropical species.If Tait actually cared about the future and well-being of people in Indonesia he would see to it that Greenpeace supported initiatives that supported economic growth and created job opportunities. As of now, he is more concerned with self promotion and furthering his ideological crusade.That said, Indonesian elected officials are rightfully taking the fight back to Greenpeace. This week, lawmakers are calling on the government in Jakarta to “review the existence of Greenpeace in Indonesia,” the Jakarta Post reports. The Consumers Alliance welcomes this positive development and congratulates Indonesia for standing up for its national sovereignty.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace’s crusade against developing world forestry continues to run rampant. This week Greenpeace’s infamous warship, the Esperanza, has set sail in Papua New Guinea to stop what they allege are illegally logged wood products. Greenpeace activists have taken to defacing private property and blockading forestry companies’ ship from traversing the high seas. Greenpeace’s hostile activity in Papua New Guinea is highly misplaced given this group’s ongoing record of distorting the truth in the name of environmental extremism.

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Recent News from the Green Movement

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 ottobre 2011

Greenpece word mark

Image via Wikipedia

Like a rabid dog backed into a corner over its questionable forestry standards, Greenpeace has decided to lash out and attack more reliable competitors of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As we have already mentioned on several occasions, Greenpeace is one of the most significant backers of the FSC, an organization that claims to “promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.” In reality, however, this is far from the truth given that reports have already found FSC’s standards to be somewhat questionable—an accusation that both FSC and Greenpeace have failed to address. But still Greenpeace feels it has the standing to critique the practices of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), two certification systems that are far more reputable and do not work hand in glove with environmental extremists like Greenpeace. One would hope that even Greenpeace would get its own house in order before throwing stones.For those of us unable to watch the latest comedies, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has provided ample amounts of hilarious entertainment. And when crazies are out in their numbers, you just know that radical environmental groups can’t be too far away. One OWS enthusiast, Lloyd J. Hart, even decided to produce a list of “demands,” that is as incoherent as it is economically destructive. For example, Hart’s demands include initiating “a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.” Sounds silly? Well, someone should also tell Hart that ending the fossil fuel economy will be somewhat tricky should we implement his next demand: “One trillion dollars in infrastructure (water, sewer, rail, roads and bridges, and electrical grid) spending now.” You can’t make this stuff up.How would Dutch taxpayers feel if they knew that their money was propping up campaigns that led to higher consumer prices? If the answer is one of “angry,” “furious,” or “irate,” the people of the Netherlands should probably start writing to their elected officials. It’s well known that Greenpeace receives funds from the Dutch lottery that they then use to undermine economic development which, in turn, leads to higher consumer costs. Well, the Dutch government has just decided to stop sourcing logs from Malaysia because they failed to comply with the FSC standards backed by Greenpeace. Someone should tell the Dutch government that they are no longer a colonial power and that developing nations have a sovereign right to develop their own land and realize their full economic potential.While Greenpeace undertakes and condones illegal activities in the name of advancing their agenda (even going so far as to risk a nuclear disaster by digging under railways to “protest” the transportation of nuclear waste in the Netherlands), the organization has taken French electricity producer, Energie de France, to court over spying on activists. Ignoring the fact that Greenpeace claims that it is being repressed whenever such charges leveled against the organization, can anyone blame one of the world’s largest producers of nuclear energy to monitor these radical ideologues. After all, when given the choice between spying on a fringe organization or suffering a nuclear catastrophe because activists want to derail a train in protest, what would you choose? If a country could potential extract 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, you would expect their elected officials to be preparing the drills, right? Not so in the United Kingdom. The British Spectator’s Fraser Nelson has a fascinating blog about the House of Commons’ Energy and Climate Change Committee, which just released a report entitled “UK Energy Supply: Security or Independence?” but only alluded to shale gas in the report’s annex. Although this is obviously a major lapse from the committee, Nelson is quick to point out that some members of Parliament are actually attempting to initiative a national conversation about the economic potential of shale gas drilling. When one considers how heated the debate has become in the UK over soaring energy costs, it might be the time for the government to start taking shale gas seriously. Be sure to look out for our next newsletter as we uncover the dirty tricks and stealth campaigning of some of the world’s most notorious environmental activists.

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China signs on to pefc

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 1 ottobre 2011

Forest Fire

Image by vernhart via Flickr

PEFC, the world’s largest forest certification system, has announced that China Forest Certification Council’s (CFCC) application to join PEFC has been unanimously approved. The move has been hailed as a boon for China’s growing forest areas, but the approval has much bigger implications for the processing sector in China – and those importing timber to China. The forest sector in China employs around 60 million people; forest cover has increased in China from 12 per cent in 1990 to around 20 per cent in 2010. While these afforestation figures bode well for the forest products sector, it is China’s imports of timber and other forest products are of greater significance for global forest products trade. China is now the largest producer of wooden furniture and wood-based panels; it produces 25 per cent of the world’s pulp, paper and paperboard. Output of all forest products reached USD 300 million in 2010; it is expected to reach $365 billion in 2011. Much of this is being driven by domestic demand, but China’s forest product trade has been growing quickly. Total forest products trade grew by more than 37 per cent in 2010. Wooden panel exports increased by around 35 per cent; paper products still make up the majority of export revenues for the sector after years of exponential growth. Particle board exports into the EU increased by 64 per cent, and China is now Europe’s largest supplier of plywood. What does this mean for certification?
The ‘adoption’ of PEFC by a Chinese state body can be read as the effective endorsement of PEFC throughout the entire supply chain. Once China’s forest management standard has been endorsed by PEFC, it will be the PEFC standard that matters in China. While the private sector or civil society in the West may not think government endorsement is particularly important, it means everything in China. Supporters of FSC have done much in the past to undermine PEFC-endorsed standards in the US, Australia and other countries. Expect Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and the usual suspects to kick off an anti-CFCC campaign soon.

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