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FSC statement on Earthsight Russian logging issues

In Monday’s issue of Daily Timber News, we reported on claims by Earthsight that Russian forests were illegally logged and that confidence in FSC certification was “wildly misplaced”. FSC has made a statement to address the issues that were brought up. Source: Timbebiz

FSC has stated that despite measures taken by the Russian government to address the issue of illegal sanitary logging, it remains a problem across the country, especially in Irkutsk Oblast, and a great concern for FSC.

FSC remains concerned about illegal sanitary logging in parts of Russia and has issued a moratorium on all sales of wood and wood products originating from sanitary logging in one oblast of Russia.

In 2019, growing concerns over illegal salvage logging in the Russian federation prompted FSC Russia to launch a study to assess the risk of illegal wood entering FSC supply chains.

This led to a moratorium on sales of wood and wood products with FSC-certified or FSC controlled wood claims originating from sanitary logging from Irkutsk Oblast region of Russia. The moratorium was announced on 14 July 2021.

In response to Earthsight’s allegations about FSC allowing illegal wood to enter its supply chain and FSC’s audit of Bakurov Evgeny’s forest management unit, FSC confirms that the audits of Bakurov’s companies took place regularly and according to FSC’s procedures.

Kalinov Most was audited twice in 2020, resulting in the identification of several non-conformities, which the company needed to address by June 2021. However, three weeks prior to the deadline, Kalinov Most informed the certification body that it wished to discontinue its FSC license, which led to the termination of its forest management certificate. The company still holds an FSC chain of custody certificate which is audited by independent, FSC-accredited certification bodies.