Amsterdam, May 21, 2013 – Greenpeace International welcomes the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) decision to disassociate itself 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).
The landmark decision comes 18 months after Greenpeace filed a complaint with the certification organisation after finding that the then subsidiary, Siforco, was linked to violent acts by local authorities against communities in Yalisika protesting against the company’s logging operations.
"Greenpeace is pleased the FSC is showing that its Policy for Association (1) has teeth and is not risking its reputation by being associated with the Danzer Group due to its involvement in human rights violations. We find this landmark decision critical for the credibility of the FSC," said Judy Rodrigues, senior forest campaigner with Greenpeace International.
"This case shows that the 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 organised civil society are all lacking."
Disassociation 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. (2) The decision means Danzer can only re-associate under strict conditions.
Greenpeace International stressed further the importance of putting the interests of the victims in Yalisika first due to the fact that there is not a strong environment for responsible forest management in the Congo Basin.
Judy Rodrigues, senior forest campaigner, Greenpeace International, +31 6 46 166 299,
Danielle Van Oijen, forest campaigner, Greenpeace Netherlands, +31 6 1500 7404
1. The Policy for Association (PfA) was adopted by FSC in 2009 to require any company (and including the company entity = parent and subsidiaries with a minimum of 50% ownership) it associates with to be committed to the basic fundamentals of responsible forest management.
2. SGSCH-COC-002521 Danzer Group AG, SGSCH-COC-004595 Interholco AG, SGS-FM/COC-005921 IFO, TT-COC-001511 Danzer UKa