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A while back The Pure Gospel on the Flat Earth published its ‘Top 10 worst excuses for the globe’ (https://youtu.be/K-CLgG9uyD4). In it, Jouke mentions the Sidereal Day and claims it is fake. Well, his favorite tool proves it is not, and leads to one inevitable conclusion on the shape of the earth: it’s not flat!
Hard-core flerfer Jack “Humpty” Dunphy (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClchUlR1KQErN_WdNb0IPHg) decided to reply to my comments on a YouTube video by my favorite flerfer Jouke (https://youtu.be/K-CLgG9uyD4). No surprise, he took the bait of my channel name (Jack of all Trades) and flaunted his ignorance of the full line it refers to. Yes, there is indeed a part stating ‘master of none’ but there is more, so much more! Watch till the end as the trap closes and all the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot put Humpty together again.
In late 1990, the Smartwood Programme (Smartwood) of the Rainforest Alliance was the first forestry certification initiative to award a certificate in Indonesia. The leading local organization, the Indonesian Ecolabelling Institute (Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia or LEI) emerged more or less parallel to the FSC. Ever since, FSC and LEI have engaged in a slow waltz toward mutual recognition. Today – two decades later – about half a dozen separate initiatives are active in Indonesia. in addition, forestry certification catalyzed new approaches and initiatives to improve forestry, including stepwise certification (Nussbaum and Simula 2005; White and Sharshar 2006), timber legality verification (Anonymous 2004; Van der Pol, Wit and Savenije 2005; TFF and Form 2004), and High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs; see Jennings et al. 2003; Daryatun et al. 2002). This proliferation of initiatives indicates a serious and diverse interest in the business of forestry certification.
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Indonesia has ample experience with attempts to create synergy between various standards, with a very simple conclusion: standards are like water and oil. Mixing standards requires ample effort, either by mechanical excitement or high-tech chemistry. Even then they tend to separate out due to false perceptions of superiority, i.e. one standard is “better” than the other. The futility of such wet dreams becomes clear once we see these standards “in action”. The very same auditor verifying the “superior” standard also verifies the “inferior” standard and both tend to get reduced to the lowest common denominator.
This bring us to the weakest link in certification: the auditor and CABs. Publications like Who Watches the Watchmen (EIA 2015; see also Lawson 2007, WWF & WB 2006) – and many informal discussions – point to a crucial issue concerning all standards using using third party verification: the competence of auditors. Some stakeholders argue that auditors are hired by the company and therefore will falsify their findings in its favour. Auditors reject this conspiracy theory, but there is ample evidence that competence amongst auditors is declining, and they are currently the weakest link in certification/verification.
However, if we keep these characteristics in mind there is ample opportunity for synergy between various standards.
Download the presentation here.
- Indicates that 10-30% tree cover is debatable, but the continues to work with >10% threshold
- Ignores potential for forest to grow as well as actual land use, as satellite imagery cannot accurately identify either
- Assumes deforestation is solely driven by the main commodity, a serious oversimplification
GFW: “Loss” indicates the removal or mortality of tree cover and can be due to a variety of factors, including mechanical harvesting, fire, disease, or storm damage. As such, “loss” does not equate to deforestation. (http://commodities.globalforestwatch.org/#v=map&x=4&y=-26.07&l=3&lyrs=tcc%2ChansenLoss) For more information, see http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest/download_v1.5.html.
Ergo, no link between EU’s ‘expansion’ and the identified tree cover loss.
Download the presentation here.
About two years ago I ran my own, self-imposed, social experiment… one I don’t encourage anyone to repeat: I joined several anti-oil-palm groups on Facebook. Not being much of an anti-anything myself this was my ‘here be dragons’ moment; my personal blank space on the map to explore. I meant to learn more about the global concerns over oil palm and to add some local context to these concerns. But the thunder of dragons I expected to find was but a mass of petty minds, whipped into a frenzy of prejudice through selective posts by a few super brands. It quickly became – quite literally – too depressing to continue.
Download the paper here.