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Forestry Stewardship Council reputation at stake over Papua case, says NGO

Radio New Zealand International - September 12, 2018

An environmental NGO says the Forestry Stewardship Council's reputation is at stake over a case of deforestation in Indonesia's Papua province.

The international forest protection agency has been considering a complaint laid by the group Mighty Earth over a Korean company involved in large-scale deforestation and oil palm planting in Papua.

The council which oversees certification of sustainable forestry globally, has delayed its decision on whether to disassociate from Korindo until March next year.

Mighty Earth's Campaign Director, Phil Aikman, said the council has clear evidence that its own standards have been breached. "It's an environmental chamber, an economic chamber, a social chamber. It's decisions are consensus driven," Phil Aikman said.

"It has some good aspects. It has some aspects it really needs to fix, and this is one of them. It shouldn't be having relationships with companies which are burning the rainforests and breaching FSC standards."

Phil Aikman said the council's board could have taken the decision to disassociate with Korindo, or even suspend Korindo's use of FSC licensing, given the evidence available at this point.

He said it was not an isolated case of deforestation and abuse of landowners' rights, as there were a number of other companies operating in New Guinea whose operations were equally problematic.

Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/366278/forestry-stewardship-council-reputation-at-stake-over-papua-case-says-ngo