After the disassociation, Danzer insisted that it wanted to join the FSC family again. For that to happen, we stated that Danzer had to fulfill social promises made in the DR Congo – such as building schools and medical clinics – and at the same time it had to develop a qualified set of procedures to demonstrate its capacity to prevent and manage conflict.
While at the time Danzer clearly did not agree with FSC’s disassociation decision, having come through a process of reconciliation, the company is now much better equipped. And we’re proud to say that Danzer has worked tirelessly to develop a robust conflict management system.
We believe Danzer has now set a new benchmark that could, and indeed should, be followed by all certified logging companies operating in difficult places like the Congo Basin.
What’s more, a year and half later, having learnt a lot, Danzer’s subsidiary Industrie Forestière d'Ouesso (IFO) has achieved the largest certified concession area in the Congo basin – some 1.2 million hectares, under a completely new audit.
We’re proud that through FSC certification, we’re making social systems better and encouraging organisations to think beyond their own company to issues such as workers’ health and safety and sustainable water management.
Of course, it wasn’t only Danzer Group that learnt from this journey, it was invaluable for FSC too. From meetings with Danzer, we now understand more thoroughly what is, and is not, working with the FSC system. We recognise that FSC certification makes requirements of organisations, and that we need our own systems to make these requirements manageable, while at the same time making sure FSC-certified companies uphold standards – now and in twenty years’ time too.
Kim is the Director General of the Forest Stewardship Council, a position he has held since October 2012. He was selected to succeed Andre de Freitas with the unanimous support of the FSC Board of Directors, who recognised that Kim’s proven track record as a global leader within the environment and development sectors make him extremely well-suited to consolidate FSC’s position as a global leader in responsible forest certification.
Copyright: Kim’s image (black/white) with thanks to Morten Holtum.