FSC will not pursue mediation with Harita group

FSC/Iván Castro
FSC/Iván Castro
February 7, 2023

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)  will not proceed with the alternative dispute resolution process with the Harita group after its corporate group member and FSC certificate holder, PT Roda Mas Timber Kalimantan (RMTK), self-terminated their FSC certificate last year.

In 2022, FSC’s assurance partner, Assurance Services International (ASI), conducted an unannounced conformity assessment on PT RMTK in which major non-conformities were found. As a result, PT RMTK’s certification body suspended their FSC certification. Subsequently, PT RMTK self-terminated their certification and with it their engagement in the FSC mediation process to address the allegations against PT Kemakmuran Berkah Timber (PT KBT) which is also part of the Harita Group. PT KBT and PT RMTK  have the same beneficial owners as Harita Group and PT RMTK held FSC certification for its operations until end 2022, thus their forest management activities are covered by FSC’s Policy for Association.

FSC had started the preliminary stages of a mediation process between PT RMTK, PT KBT and Forest People’s Programme (FPP) in response to the complaint filed by FPP in 2020. FPP had filed this complaint on behalf of the Dayak Bahau Busang indigenous community of Long Isun, Indonesia. In this complaint, FPP alleged that PT KBT was  involved in unacceptable activities, as defined by FSC’s Policy for Association (version 2). The allegations against PT KBT included “violation of traditional and human rights in forestry operations” and “conversion of High Conservation Value Forests in forestry operations”.

Going forward, FSC will pursue other avenues to address the alleged unacceptable activities mentioned in FPP’s complaints. The Harita group or any of its subsidiaries cannot return to the FSC system before the issues have been duly addressed.

The Policy for Association is an expression of the values shared by individuals and organizations associated with FSC. It defines six unacceptable activities that associated individuals and organizations and their corporate group commit to avoid in both certified and non-certified operations. The Policy for Association serves as a risk management tool for FSC, protecting the credibility and reputation of the FSC brand and organizations associated with it.

For more information about the Policy for Association case against the Harita group, please click here.

For more information about unacceptable activities and association of corporate groups with FSC, please click here.

For more information about how FSC processes complaints about Policy for Association violations, please click here.

For more information about the outcomes of a Policy for Association violation case, please click here.