José Saramago urges FSC General Assembly to stop forest destruction
Manaus, Brazil -- José Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, has called upon the participants of the FSC General Assembly 2005 to decide concrete steps that contribute to stopping the planet’s destruction.
In an address by video to a meeting of more than 300 members and observers of FSC in Manaus, Brazil, José Saramago stressed, “I hope Brazil, Latin America and everybody in the world will become aware of the gravity of the situation which I think can be translated in this very simple phrase: “The planet is in danger,” in reference to forest destruction.
The Nobel Prize winner called upon the FSC Assembly to help save the planet. “We are destroying the planet and we have the obligation to save it, because there is no one else that can do it.”
Representatives from more than 60 countries, including organizations such as Greenpeace and WWF; the Brazilian governments; international companies such as IKEA and The Home Depot; and academic institutions are meeting through Friday, December 9th to debate strategic initiatives to improve forest management worldwide over the coming years.
“This is a unique opportunity for FSC members to decide what policies and standards can be implemented to make a difference in preserving forest around the world,” said Heiko Liedeker, FSC Executive Director. “FSC is proving once again that participation, balanced representation and equal power to vote are a powerful strategy to bring people together, find solutions and promote responsible stewardship of the forests.”
Around 67 million hectares of forest are currently FSC certified in over 65 countries; and more than 10 thousand forest products carry the FSC labels in global market. Progressive companies, respected non-governmental environmental and social organizations, as well individual support FSC, the most credible organization promoting responsible forest stewardship.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, not for profit, non-government organisation based in Bonn, Germany. It provides standard setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services for companies and organizations committed to responsible forest stewardship. Founded in 1993, FSC’s mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Its governance structure ensures that FSC is independent of any one interest group by requiring an equal balance in power between its environmental, social and economic chambers as well as a balance between interests from the economic north and south.
The FSC forest management standards are based on 10 Principles and Criteria for responsible forest management. FSC also provides Chain of Custody standards for manufacturers and processors of forest products. The Chain of Custody standards allow credible tracking of certified wood and wood products from certified forests through trade and manufacturing to committed retailers and consumers.
Over the past 12 years, 67 million hectares in 65 countries have been certified according to FSC standards while several thousand products are produced using FSC certified wood and carrying the FSC trademark. About 4,200 producers of forest products participate in the FSC system. Major retailers in Europe, North America, South America and Asia ask for FSC certification when ordering forest products so they can assure their customers that products they are buying support responsible forestry. FSC operates through a network of National Initiatives in more than 36 countries. Further information is available on www.fsc.org
For further information, please contact Zandra Martinez