The NGOs' report marks a further escalation in an ongoing battle between the industry-inspired pan-European forest certification (PEFC) scheme, to which the FFCS is affiliated, and the global Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which is backed by environmental groups. It is published on a website called "PEFCwatch," operated by the groups.
Environmental groups have consistently opposed the PEFC, accusing it of promoting lower standards than the FSC and of failing to achieve broad stakeholder involvement (ENDS Daily 18 April 2000). NGOs are now targeting the FFCS because it is the most advanced PEFC-affiliated scheme and recently started delivering PEFC-labelled timber products to the market (ENDS Daily 4 January).
The two Finnish NGOs say their report sets out to "inform customers of the Finnish forest industry as well as consumers about the ecological sustainability of FFCS/PEFC certification". They conclude that it isn't.
Based on a survey in four "forestry centres" in the north and east of the country, the groups claim to have found 55 cases of already logged areas or areas with current logging plans "that clearly did not take into account...biological, social or cultural value[s]". "It is obvious that a more thorough study would have revealed an even grimmer reality," they comment.
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