WWF Finland’s head of forest programme has lost his seat on the Finnish FSC Association board after other environmental groups voted against him.

Harri Karjalainen told TTJ that he thought the groups were disappointed in his involvement in drafting the new Finnish FSC draft standard, including that he had “compromised” too much with industry.

Mr Karjalainen lost a 13-8 vote to retain his board seat, with a representative of Bird Life being voted on instead.

WWF Finland was the only environmental NGO to support the new Finnish FSC draft standard, with other groups, including Greenpeace and the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, jointly signing a five-page comment paper which includes criticisms of the standard.

“One reason why I did not get that strong support to continue in the board was because I think they were disappointed with the standard and probably thought I had not been strong enough, “ said Mr Karjalainen.

Mr Karjalainen had been the only environmental NGO on the draft standard steeering committee.

“I had to take the initiative and work with the industry and try to find a reasonable compromise, which I think was found. I still believe we have done a pretty good job.”

Other NGOs’ criticisms centred on the definition of old growth forests which should be protected from forestry operations and issues focusing on high conservation value forests in Finland.

More discussions are due to take place on the draft standard.