Energy Justice Romania a solicitat anularea certificarii FSC pentru Holzindustrie Schweighofer Group

Comunitatea de-clic, impreuna cu partenerii de la Campact, Germania si #Aufstehn, Austria, vor organiza maine, 7 februarie, incepand cu ora 10, o actiune si o inmanare de semnaturi în fata sediului FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) din Bonn.

Salutam mobilizarea publica, fara precedent, in vederea anularii certificarii Forest Stewardship Council acordata de catre organizatia internationala companiei Holzindustrie Schweighofer Group si publicam la randul nostru plangerea transmisa catre FSC in septembrie 2015, la care inca nu am primit un raspuns concret.

COMPLAINT re: FSC C120622

29 September, 2015

To whom it may concern,

Energy Justice Romania  expresses deep concerns regarding the increased level of greenwashing linked to FSC certification due to association between the FSC and the Holzindustrie Schweighofer Group, which is using the FSC label in order to cover its activity reflected in direct and indirect involvement in illegal timber harvesting and trade and all its other activities associated to illegal forest restitution, unethical measurement methods , allegations for wood imported from the Chernobyl area and more.

Schweighofer is at the heart of one of the biggest environmental scandals Romania ever witnessed which stirred the citizens’ indignation and got thousands in the street, back in May 2015, protesting against the rampage this company/group of companies is/are leaving behind for years. Holzindustrie Schweighofer processes the majority of Romania’s softwood timber into semi-finished wood products, primarily for export and is one of the main suppliers for FSC timber. The questioned FSC certificate belongs to SC Ocol Silvic CASCADE EMPIRE SRL, member of the Schweighofer Group, which owns and administers over 14 000 ha of FSC certified forest under the certificate # FSC C120622, as mentioned on their website.

According to the FSC “Policy for Association” the organization will only allow its association with organizations that are not directly or indirectly involved in illegal logging or the trade in illegal wood or forest products, therefore dissociation from Holzindustrie Schweighofer could be the logical step after analyzing the following non-exhaustive list of arguments/evidence:

1. Last month, in august 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forestry has notified the Supreme Court following a field inspection which revealed the suspicion that numerous traders supplied timber from illegal logging to Holzindustrie Schweighofer. Also, here you can find a thorough investigation on this subject elaborated by the Romanian investigative network RISE Project.

2. At the end of April/beginning of May 2015, the international organization Environmental Investigation Agency – EIA organized a flagrant action and revealed that Holzindustrie Schweighofer is performing zero due diligence in buying timber and the company not only accepts to buy the illegal wood, but also offers bonuses. Please find the entire material in English here.

3. For the past 13 years, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has used measurement methods for timber based on the “rotating calliper/gripper”, which calculates approximately 10,2% less timber volume than the ‘physical volume’ and significantly less than the volume calculated by other legal measuring systems. According to a Neuer Weg Association investigation this caused damages estimated to be at least 130 million Euros in the disadvantage of the small wood suppliers and of the Romanian State.

4. Another Neuer Weg investigation brings up allegations that Holzindustrie Schweighofer is importing wood from Cernobil area.

5. Moreover, Holzindustrie Schweighofer via Cascade Empire is known for years for clear cuts and illegal logging, as shown in this short clip. The FSC “Policy for Association” also mentions it will not associate with any company involved in destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations; however Holzindustrie Schweighofer is involved in illegal logging in the national park Retezat, some of Europe’s last remaining old grown forests, which are in or contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems.

More details and reports can be provided upon request from Agent Green Association in Romania, one of our members. Cascade Empire SRL is involved in illegal forest restitution consisting in almost 900 hectares, based on false documents and a current investigation involves the National Anti-corruption Agency and this criminal group of companies as bribers.

We can provide translation of all mentioned sources and additional materials upon request. We trust in the FSC transparency and integrity policy and we look forward to receive your position and action plan in regards to our current complaint.

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