Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Illegal Logging

The Logging business is a series of activities that cannot be done silently and illegally.

In order to be running, the business must involve so many parties, workers, equipments and transportation, starting from the cutting of trees in the forest,  transporting the logs to the port, and loading them unto sea vessels.

However, believe it or not, in Indonesia many logs have been cut, transported exported illegally for many years. 

But it seems that this illegal business will end very soon after the government decided to ban export of illegal timber as reported by The Jakarta Post (below).

Indonesia bans exports of illegally harvested timber
Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 09/13/2010 9:28 AM | 

Stepping up its fight against illegal logging, the government began the implementation early this month of a ban on exports of illegally harvested wood and wood products.

The government made it mandatory for forestry companies to obtain official certificates to show that timber has been legally sourced without damaging forests. The policy has been deemed necessary since according to official statistics illegal logging activities have been destroying more than 1 million hectares of forests each year.

“If a source of timber is untraceable, it will be categorized as illegal and byproducts will be ineligible for export to markets in the EU,” Hadi Daryanto, the director general of forest product development
at the Forestry Ministry, told The Jakarta Post.

The Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) would be applied for industrial forest concessions (HTI), production forest concessions (HPH) and community plantation forests (HTR).

“We also want to fight trade fostered by illegal logging,” Hadi said.

The new requirement was issued after the European Parliament voted in favor of a ban on the sale of illegally harvested timber and timber products in the European market.

The EU regulation on importation of illegal timber, previously known as “due diligence” is expected to be fully in place by 2013.

The Countries that sign the EU-based Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) would be considered in compliance with EU timber regulations, Hadi said.

“We have long demanded that once we sign the VPA, timber from Indonesia will be subject to due diligence,” he said.

The agreement is an EU licensing scheme to ensure all timber products entering EU member countries have been produced legally.

“The European Commission delegation has agreed in principle with the standard developed under Indonesia’s SVLK system,” Hadi added. 

Indonesia and the European Commission began negotiations on the VPA in January 2007. 

A technical meeting between both parties is scheduled for this month in Jakarta to clarify the details of the agreement before it is signed later this year.

“We should have the annexes completed by the end of October,” Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) VPA facilitator Andy Roby told the Post, adding that experts from the European Union and Indonesia would meet in Jakarta to further discuss Indonesia’s SVLK system. 

“The [SVLK] standard is already accepted by stakeholders in Indonesia. Now we just need to complete the system,” he said.

Roby said there was a need to appoint an agency that would take responsibility for licensing control before exporting wood and wood products. 

There are currently five independent institutions that have been accredited by the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) to check whether harvested timber is legal.

The five institutions are PT Sucofindo, PT Mutuagung Lestari, PT Mutu Hijau Indonesia, PT TUV International Indonesia and the Forest Industry Revitalization Board (BRIK).

Previously, BRIK was the only institution able to certify wood and wood products in Indonesia.

Indonesia, home to 120 million hectares of forests, exports about 33 percent of its timber products to the EU market each year.

Activists have long maintained that much of Indonesia’s illegal timber has been shipped to other countries, including China and Malaysia, before being exported as sawn timber and finished wood products to international markets in Europe and the United States.

The EU is currently negotiating its VPAs with a number of countries, including Malaysia.


colson said...

It's another small step forward. The system is still incomplete (not all exporting countries are included yet) and maintaining the rules on both sides will remain difficult.

Yet: good news!

H. Nizam said...

In spite of the difficulties, at least effort has been made to stop illegal logging. That's good news.

Seiri Hanako said...

berkunjung niy
walau kagak ngarti spt biasanya

H. Nizam said...

Seiri Hanako,
Terima kasih atas kunjungan dan komentar anda.

budi baik said...

My earth is not my earth again
the forest bare, hot air
to whom we complain
how many hundred years from now all go back
sin what our grandchildren ...
to bear all these problems

H. Nizam said...

Budi Baik,
The present generation is destroying nature and the next generation will have to suffer.

Yari NK said...

Yes, logging activities cannot be carried out silently and secretly. It is no way the authorities do not know what is happening but apparently they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the illegal activities because their palms have been greased. I hope I am wrong but if I am not this article would act as an eye-opener for us to realise that it has never been too late to save our forests (and the fauna within) from defunctness...

H. Nizam said...

Hi Yari,
That's the point, the authorities have turned blind eyes on illegal logging. Although some businessmen who were found guilty and sentenced to prison by the court of law, but somehow many of them were able to remain free and left the country.
Let's hope this time efforts to save forests and species inside would be more serious.

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

makin susah dah bumi ini jadi hijau

H. Nizam said...

Iya sangat disayangkan sekali hilangnya "kehijauan" bumi.