The Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) promotes itself as the “gold-standard for responsible forest management.” FSC and its affiliated activist groups, including Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network, promote FSC as the only choice for people concerned about saving trees and helping the poor. However, Congress of Racial Equality spokesperson Niger Innis has authored a paper documenting hypocrisy and heavy-handed tactics by which FSC opposes true environmentalism and economic opportunity for poor persons.
The paper, “Stop the War on the Poor: FSC and NGOs – Environmental Mythology,” documents how FSC promotes products using wood from endangered tropical forest tree species. The paper also documents FSC shake-down tactics by which corporations are pressured to financially support FSC or face environment smear campaigns.
“Who does this hurt?” asks Innis. “It hurts the developing world. It hurts the poor here at home and abroad. Poor people in Africa and South East Asia who are being told their forests don’t meet Big Green requirements. And poor and working class people here in the United States who have to pay more for the basics: books for learning, tissues for hygiene and lumber for housing.”
“The Congress of Racial Equality has been fighting for economic mobility for minorities in America and for economic development for the developing world for over 70 years,” Innis explains. “Economic opportunity is the final frontier for the civil rights movement here and the Human Rights movement abroad.”
Innis’ paper is available here.