FSC suspends Danzer's certification over links to human rights violations in DRC

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Feature story - May 21, 2013
Today, we welcome the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) decision to disassociate from the timber multinational Danzer Group following a complaint that one of the company’s former subsidiaries was involved in human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

18 months ago, Greenpeace filed a complaint with the FSC after finding that the then subsidiary of Danzer, Siforco was linked with violent acts by local authorities against communities in Yalisika who were protesting against the company’s logging operations.

“Greenpeace is pleased FSC is showing that its Policy for Association has teeth and is not risking its reputation by being associated with the Danzer Group and its human rights violations. We find this landmark decision critical for the credibility of FSC,” says Raoul Monsembula, DRC Country Coordinator, Forest Campaign, Greenpeace Africa

This case shows that FSC needs to urgently establish certification safeguards in high risk areas where there are high levels of corruption, and where good governance, the rule of law, and organized civil society are all lacking.

This decision means that all of the Danzer Group’s FSC forest management and chain-of-custody certificates across the globe will be revoked for a minimum of one year.

It also means Danzer can only re-associate under strict conditions. It is important that the interests of the victims in Yalisika are put first, due to the fact that there is not a strong environment for responsible forest management in the Congo Basin.