FSC Statement on Myanmar’s Escalating Crisis

FSC / Mayank Bhavesh Soni
Young tree canopies against a pale sky
FSC / Mayank Bhavesh Soni
April 7, 2021

In an open letter addressed to FSC International’s Director General, Kim Carstensen, the Swedish trade union GS Facket urged FSC to declare Myanmar “a high-risk country” for violating human rights and cease from certifying raw materials (specifically teak) that originate from the country.

[Bonn, Germany] 06 April 2021 - FSC is deeply concerned about the situation in Myanmar in light of the crisis that is affecting the safety, rights and well-being of its people.

FSC understands the concerns of GS Facket and does not tolerate any acts of violence or human right abuses in its system. There are no FSC-certified forests in Myanmar and therefore no harvesting of FSC-certified teak or other tree species can take place in the country. Regarding the FSC-certified processing companies in Myanmar, FSC has no indication of any involvement with the regime or not meeting certification requirements.

For sourcing of non-certified material into FSC supply chains, FSC has a national risk assessment for Myanmar in place since 2018. This already marks almost all 33 subcategories as high-risk. This risk assessment must be used when implementing the requirements for sourcing FSC Controlled Wood from Myanmar.

Protecting human and workers’ rights is in the heart of our principles and criteria, and it is in our mandate to allow all people to have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and for contributing to, and benefiting from, economic, social, cultural and political development. We therefore urge GS Facket or other stakeholders to reach out to us if they have any evidence of the involvement of FSC certificate holders with the current crisis, so we can take the appropriate action.

We hope that all concerned parties and organizations inside Myanmar and around the world can find ways to work together to be part of a solution to this crisis and the fear that the people of Myanmar are facing.