28 May, 2015

Protest at FSC Australia’s AGM to demand probe into endorsement of logging WA global biodiversity hotspot


The Wilderness Society has today called for an immediate investigation from world-leading wood certifier the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) on how UK-based auditor Soil Association Woodmark gave FSC endorsement to Western Australian logging company FPC, which is logging old-growth karri forests in south-west WA.

“Supporters of the Western Australian Forest Alliance have attended the annual general meeting of FSC’s Australian arm in Melbourne to demand an investigation into how a fly-in fly-out FSC auditor could have comprehensively ignored information from local stakeholders about how FPC is failing to meet FSC’s high standards,” said Wilderness Society national forest campaigner Warrick Jordan.

“It’s crystal clear that FPC is planning to log old-growth forest without even bothering to properly identify it. UK-based FSC auditor Woodmark has ignored evidence about old-growth logging, impacts on the threatened Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoo, and hasn’t even considered that South West WA is one of 35 official global biodiversity hotspots.

“It’s clear the rules of the world leading FSC standard are being breached in WA. Local volunteer conservationists have gone to extensive efforts to provide information to FSC auditor Woodmark but have been ignored.

“Local conservationists have followed FSC’s complaint processes and the UK-based auditor has ignored their concerns. It’s now clear that FSC’s auditing body Accreditation Services International and the Australian FSC branch in Melbourne have to step in to sort out the mess Woodmark has created.

“When consumers see the FSC logo on tissue paper or a piece of furniture, they want to know that the product comes from forests where nature is being protected. What conservation stakeholders are asking for is for FSC to maintain its world-leading standards.”

For further comment contact:

Wilderness Society national forest campaigner Warrick Jordan on 0451 633 197

For more information, contact Wilderness Society media adviser Alex Tibbitts on 0416 420 168

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