It is difficult to briefly describe what the FSC system is. The history of FSC certification begins in the 1980s, when humanity noticed that deforestation was progressing on Earth. Many scientists believed then that this would lead to irreversible consequences for the entire planet, so it was decided to counteract this phenomenon. At the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, it was one of the main problems that environmental organizations dealt with.
Over the years, the standards of sustainable forest management that would meet the needs of people and preserve valuable natural resources have been discussed. Everything was to be adopted during the climate summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The problem, however, is that the UN countries simply in the world… did not get along. Therefore, environmental organizations decided to create their own standard and tried to disseminate it. Two of the world’s largest brands joined the promotion of the idea: Greenpeace and, above all, WWF. 1994 is mentioned as the cut-off date when the certificate became the fact.
The idea is to think about wood production along the entire supply chain. In short – a producer of a wood product can boast that it is FSC certified, as long as the raw material it processes comes from a supplier who also has the appropriate certificate. The first and historic FSC product is a wooden spatula, which was produced in 1994 in Great Britain.
Milestones in the FSC program
The program, together with the promotion of environmental organizations, grew from year to year and overcame new milestones. Today, nearly 200 million hectares of forests in the world are FSC-certified, and a total of over 37,000 have already been granted. worldwide certificates. Of course, many years ago, the State Forests, which in fact had most of their stands covered by the FSC system, also entered the system. Although they theoretically use an invention of WWF and Greenpeace, in Poland it does not make environmentalists praise foresters. On the contrary, they have not left a dry thread on them for a decade. Additionally, FSC doesn’t make much business sense anymore. This was proved in 2021 by RDSF Łódź, which, after a frenzy with the certifier, resigned from the ecological logo. Nevertheless, 2021 was a record year in terms of timber trade. No wonder that foresters and other timber companies are thinking more and more often about simply getting rid of the certificate.
The economic espionage of the Germans?
They have many arguments. The last one is the tightening of the criteria by the FSC. The organization, which in Poland has a small office in Złote Tarasy in the center of Warsaw, has its headquarters for Europe located in Bonn, Germany. Polish timber companies in the world are simply afraid of… economic espionage.
Especially that the FSC organization collects a lot of sensitive data. Both those related to the ownership of forests and their legal status, as well as organizational issues of enterprises – including data about customers and the goods delivered to them. We asked FSC Poland questions. We did not receive a reply. However, entrepreneurs raised similar doubts.
“Regarding your doubts regarding the storage of data collected by certification bodies from FSC CoC certificate holders for the purpose of calculating the annual administrative fee, I would like to assure you that this data is treated confidentially in accordance with the GDPR regulation. All data held by FSC is treated lawfully “
– we read in the reply sent from one of the companies.
Hit the State Forests
Information from behind the scenes of the FSC quite often penetrated the left-wing media, mostly hitting the State Forests. It is also bitter that the FSC has just set new standards. Their development is based on the fait accompli method. The document was presented, and the State Forests, in principle, can only come to terms with its content. There are many pitfalls inside, which go to the hand of environmental organizations and can paralyze forestry. “In the event of a pending litigation between the forest manager and the applicant, where the continuation of the contested activity could cause irreversible consequences for the substance of the dispute, such activity is suspended until it is resolved,” we read in the standards. In practice, such a provision may act as the CJEU ruling in the Turow case. At the same time, the organization wants to exclude 10 percent. forests from forestry and the creation of the so-called reference areas.
Gdańsk says “no”
Of course, after RDSF Gdańsk withdrew from the system, the media was immediately raised. “Brother Obajtek resigns from a valid certificate”, “Forests will be cut without limits” – report portals and environmental activists. This is bullshit. The State Forests cut trees on the basis of Forest Management Plans, which are created by specialized companies and approved by the Minister of the Environment. The rule of thumb is not to cut down more tree mass than the annual growth on the trunk. Usually about 60-70 percent is obtained. annual growth. So there are more forests every year. At the same time – as RDSF in Gdańsk reminds – Polish foresters have different certificates.
“Forest management in the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Gdańsk is also certified in the PEFC system, which in our opinion is completely equivalent to the FSC system. Sustainable forest management criteria PEFC were developed on the basis of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management, adopted after the Helsinki Conference in 1993. These criteria are therefore based on knowledge and experience and comply with the legislation of Poland and the European Union in the field of forestry and, what is very important, for the state, they do not limit the supply of wood to the market. It is also a certification system more popular in the world, also in Europe. In the European Union, the certificate covers about 55 percent. forest area, of which about 94 percent. is PEFC certified, and about 37%. FSC certificate. The vast majority of forests covered by FSC certification are also PEFC certified. It is also the most popular certificate in Poland. All regional directorates of the State Forests have it “
– wrote the representatives of RDSF Gdańsk.
Source: Gazeta Polska Daily