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FSC remains deeply concerned about Russia’s attack on Ukraine and stands in solidarity with all victims of this violence. With full commitment to FSC’s mission and standards, and after a thorough analysis, on 8 March 2022, the FSC International Board of Directors suspended all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and blocked all controlled wood from the two countries. At the same time, FSC has modified its normative framework to continue operating in Ukraine except where there is ongoing armed conflict to keep safety of staff and field operators as a top priority.
Below you can find more details about decisions related to specific countries.
To continue to protect forests in Russia, FSC allowed forest management certificate holders in Russia to keep their FSC certification of forest management, with no permission to trade or sell FSC-certified timber.
“All our thoughts are with Ukraine and its people, and we share their hopes for a return to peace. We also express our sympathy with those people in Belarus and Russia who do not want this war,” said FSC Director General, Kim Carstensen.
‘We must act against aggression; at the same time, we must fulfil our mission of protecting forests. We believe that stopping all trade in FSC-certified and controlled materials, and at the same time maintaining the option of managing forests according to FSC standards, fulfils both these needs.” he added.
For more details and clarity on FSC’s decision, please read this FAQ.
For technical updates to clarify measures in FSC requirements, visit this page.
FSC remains determined to continue to support Ukrainian certificate holders, and allows certification bodies – the independent auditors of FSC certificate holders – to continue their work in areas not affected by war. Their work is facilitated, for example through remote audits and extending the time between audits to over a year, if required.
At the same time, FSC must continue to protect the integrity of the FSC system. In the invaded regions of Ukraine, government legislation cannot be enforced, and it is not safe for the auditors to carry out their work. These factors dramatically increase the risks of forests not being managed according to FSC’s standards. Therefore as of 4 May 2022, FSC required the suspension of the relevant certificates.
For more information please read the full article here.
For technical updates, please click here.
All certificates in Belarus were suspended as part of FSC International Board decision due to Belarus’ association of the forest sector with armed invasion.
Additionally, all certificates in Belarus were terminated as a result of a decision by Assurance Services International (ASI) to exclude the country from the scope of all certification bodies due to the inability to credibly assess conformance with certain FSC social requirements based on International Labour Organization (ILO).
Furthermore, FSC is currently unable to bring the various interests to the table to develop and promote FSC as all environmental NGOs have been liquidated. The operations in Belarus will be reinstated once FSC has sufficient evidence that the fundamental values for FSC are in place and functioning again.
FSC is still committed to Belarus, its forests and people. We continue to hold dialogue and promote responsible forest management principles, even if members are now based abroad.
For more information, please visit this link.
The decisions were taken after a thorough analysis of the potential impact of withdrawal of FSC certification. We wanted to take wise action that can ensure continued responsible forest management in these countries.
Before we announced action related to our operations in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, we listened to civil society, companies and Russian, Belarusian and Ukranian FSC members who agreed that the war is contrary to the values that we stand for as FSC.
The decision was almost two weeks underway. This episode of Forest for the Future podcast dived into why it was such a difficult decision to make and what we expect the impact of it will be on both the people and forests; not only in the effected regions but also around the globe.
In this video uploaded on 04 March 2022, FSC Director General Kim Carstensen explains why it took FSC extra time to grapple with this difficult decision.