FSC Bans Wood Sourced from Russia, Belarus

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has suspended trading certificates in Russia and Belarus, that allow the sale or promotion of FSC products, and blocked all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries.

This means that once this suspension and blockages become effective April 8, wood and other forest products can no longer be sourced as FSC-certified or controlled from Russia and Belarus for their inclusion in FSC products anywhere in the world.

FSC cites its concern about Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine, and its solidarity with all victims of this violence as the reasons behind the moves.

“All our thoughts are with Ukraine and its people, and we share their hopes for a return to peace,” says FSC director general, Kim Carstensen. “We also express our sympathy with those people in Belarus and Russia who do not want this war.”

FSC says it will continue to closely monitor the situation and is ready to take additional measures to protect the integrity of its system.

To continue to protect forests in Russia, FSC will provide forest management certificate holders in that country the option of maintaining their FSC certification of forest management, but no permission to trade or sell FSC-certified timber.

“We must act against aggression (and), at the same time, we must fulfill our mission of protecting forests,” says Carstensen. “We believe that stopping all trade in FSC-certified and controlled materials, and maintaining the option of managing forests according to FSC standards, fulfils both these needs.”

If the invasion of Ukraine ends before April 8, FSC will lift certificate suspensions in Russia. However, terminations in Belarus will remain effective because of the additional issues in relation to FSC core labour requirements.

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