Bogor, 18 September 2019. A decade of the process of improving forest governance in Indonesia through the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) is now threatened with collapse, this is due to the proposal not to require the implementation of SVLK for export activities to America initiated by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution on during a limited meeting with the President. The Forestry Independent Monitoring Network (JPIK) regrets this plan because it will destroy all efforts to reform the timber trade system that is managed sustainably and sustainably.
Since the SVLK came into force in 2009 and through a long process that involved multistakeholders in its development and improvement, Indonesia has become an international spotlight as it succeeded in becoming the first country to receive a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade License from the European Union in November 2016. Implementation the FLEGT License scheme is one of the main achievements of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Indonesia and the European Union on Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade in the Forestry Sector which was signed in 2013 and ratified in 2014.
As a system of guaranteeing the credibility and accountability of forest management and its derivative products (wood), the SVLK functions to ensure that all permit holders and holders of management rights comply with all applicable regulations and policies. Thus, the plan to eliminate SVLK will open opportunities for violations of the law and disobedience to obligations in fulfilling raw materials originating from legal and sustainable sources. This is clearly counterproductive to the commitment of the Government of Indonesia in combating illegal logging, reducing deforestation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an effort to prevent climate change.
The Indonesian government must study and understand more deeply the contents and scope of the partnership with the European Union, because the agreement requires Indonesia to implement SVLK (using FLEGT License Documents / V-Legal Documents) in conducting trade in wood and wood products for all importing countries. “SVLK should be used as an instrument to measure compliance in order to carry out a mental revolution initiated by President Joko Widodo, mentally disobedient and violating government regulations can be traced clearly through SVLK. In addition, this system also encourages the improvement of the performance of permit holders and holders of management rights in running their businesses, “said Muhammad Ichwan, JPIK campaigner. JPIK urges the Government to immediately improve coordination and stop discussions on the elimination of SVLK, as well as continue efforts to strengthen, assist and facilitate financing of certification that has been, is being and will be carried out in Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) and private forest owners. This effort must be carried out continuously, so that it is not used as an excuse / justification by certain elements on behalf of small and medium industries that produce furniture for not implementing SVLK. The government must also immediately conduct surveillance, evaluation and law enforcement, as well as provide strict sanctions on companies that are proven to violate them. This is important to do so that SVLK’s credibility and accountability are maintained.