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12 December 2013 (Montreal) – Three of Resolute Forest Products’ Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates were suspended yesterday. The suspensions prohibit Resolute from labeling their pulp, paper and wood products from a vast area of Boreal Forest in Quebec’s Lac St-Jean and Ontario’s Black Spruce-Dog River Matawin regions.
Rainforest Alliance, the auditor for Resolute, based its decision on the company’s failure to meet a number of key FSC sustainability principles, including the free and informed consent of First Nations, the conservation of old growth forests and woodland caribou, and support from stakeholders for its operations.
“These suspensions will severely restrict the marketability of Resolute’ products, with many large customers who require FSC certification for their purchases of pulp, paper and lumber” said Greenpeace Canada Forest Campaigner Nicolas Mainville. “We are encouraged that FSC and Rainforest Alliance are taking action to ensure compliance with the core principles of the certification system: respect for Indigenous people’s rights and the conservation of species at risk.”
Yesterday’s suspension of FSC certificates RA-FM/COC-004525, RA-FM/COC-005956 and RA-FM/COC-005587 covering an area of more than 6.7 million hectares, follow complaints filed by the Grand Council of the Crees, which represents nine First Nation communities, and environmental organizations, including Greenpeace.
Lack of suitable protection for high conservation value forest areas, threatened woodland caribou herds, and missing consent from aboriginal communities are at the heart of these suspensions and other open challenges by Greenpeace and others against Resolute’s operations.
“No company is too big to fail – not even Canada’s biggest logging company,” added Mainville. “We hope Resolute will take good look at their operations, rethink their approach and avoid risking the economic viability of communities and the health of the forest.”
Greenpeace is founding member of the FSC, a national member in many countries and has sat on the Canadian and International boards of the organization. Greenpeace considers FSC to be the only credible forest certification system.
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