Joint Press Statement of the Independent Forestry Monitoring Organization

Joint Press Statement of the Independent Forestry Monitoring Organization

Important to Strengthen Forest Supervision and Law Enforcement, to Realize Responsible and Sustainable Forest Governance

Jakarta, 30 August 2016 – The Government of Indonesia has a Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) which aims to improve forest governance, eradicate illegal logging and its trade. This system, which has been multi-party compiled, places civil society as Independent Monitors (PIs) to participate in ensuring the credibility of the SVLK. The existence of PI in Indonesia has also been recognized in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. 30 of 2016.

Until now, PIs have spread throughout Indonesia through various networks, institutions and individuals. Such institutions and networks are like the Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) which is actively monitoring throughout Indonesia; Eyes on The Forest (EoF) is active in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua; PPLH Mangkubumi is active in East Java; LSPP is active in Central Java; YCHI is active in South Kalimantan; APIKS in Sumatra; Auriga in Papua; and ICEL actively advocates for environmental policy.

The existence of PIs in order to support responsible and sustainable forest governance cannot be denied anymore, since the onset of illegal logging and forest destruction activities in Indonesia during the new order transition period to the reform era, PI work in the field has contributed greatly to the government, especially as a provider of data and information related to forestry crime to support the government in enforcing the law and as an input to improve regulations in the forestry sector, one of which is the SVLK.

The rise of forestry crime cases to the judicial table in Indonesia is also inseparable from the PI’s work so far in the field. Like the forestry corruption case in Riau, Labora Sitorus’s illegal logging case in Papua, the arrest of 3 Malaysian cukong who carried out illegal logging on the Indonesia-Malaysia border, PT. Bumi Mekar Hijau in South Sumatra, and disclosure of the case of 80 containers containing illegal wood in East Java. Also the number of concessions that have been issued by the government in the midst of the limited resources they have in conducting supervision further confirms the importance of the existence and role of the PI
in Indonesia.

In its rules, the SVLK requires companies to implement forest protection and safeguards as prevention and control efforts to control forest disturbances. However, the fact in the field up to today is that there are still forest fires within the company’s concessions, indicating that there are still companies that have not fully complied with the applicable laws and regulations. Thus, the function and role of the PI must remain to monitor forest governance in Indonesia. In the report (EoF in 2104 and JPIK analysis in 2015, it still found fires in the concessions of companies that already have SVLK certificates. This shows that there is still a lack of supervision by the government.

Eyes on The Forest (EoF) is active in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua Although our role as Independent Monitor has helped the government so far, it is still not maximized by the government. There are many obstacles that we still face in conducting monitoring. The limited data and information provided by the government to the PI, the revision of Perdirjen related to the PI which has not been ratified until this moment, the weak law enforcement of the reports submitted by the PI, and the lack of government facilitation to support the sustainability of monitoring activities, become obstacles and challenges for PI in carrying out its role to maintain the credibility of the SVLK. Especially for SVLK monitoring, there are still many companies that find it difficult to provide PI access to enter the concession, and many parties still feel disturbed and question the existence of PIs.

Therefore, we as Independent Monitors recommend the government, especially the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to:

Transparent in handling forestry crime cases
Provide complete data and information for PIs, in accordance with Annex 9 VPA
Uphold the law morning forestry crimes
Ensure security for PIs
Facilitating PIs to get opportunities for sustainable monitoring
The government must also strengthen supervision of SVLK implementation by utilizing PI. For the wider community, PI also invited to actively participate in monitoring, because forests managed by companies are state-owned forests, so we as citizens have the right to know what is happening inside them.

Contact For Interviews:
Muhamad Kosar: 081318726321; mkosar@fwi.or.id;
Ian Hilman: 08195694600; ihilman@wwf.or.id;
Muh Ichwan: 081335174892; ichwan.pplh@gmail.com;
Andrianto: 081225217668; andre6309@gmail.com;
Astrid Debora: 081281426007; achied.deb@gmail.com;
Jaya Novyandri: 085368962528; ylbhlink @ gmail.com

Editor’s Note:

  • The SVLK (Timber Legality Verification System) is a mandatory requirement for all timber producers, processors and exporters to undergo independent audits to ensure their compliance with the Legality Verification standard which includes criteria, indicators, verifiers, verification methods, and assessment norms developed through a multi-stakeholder negotiation process.
    JPIK (Independent Forest Monitoring Network) is an independent network established on September 23, 2010 by 29 NGOs from Aceh to Papua. JPIK’s main mandate is to monitor and strengthen the SVLK and its implementation, as the main tool to improve forestry and trade governance.
  • EoF (Eyes on the Forest) is an environmental organization in Riau and West Kalimantan. The EoF Coalition has been monitoring deforestation, illegal logging, forest and land fires since 2004.
    YCHI (Yayasan Cakrawala Hijau Indonesia) is a non-governmental organization engaged in natural and forest conservation and community empowerment, established on 12 November 1997. Since August 2015, YCHI began mapping industrial chains in Kalimantan with South Kalimantan Chopsticks, Kalimantan LPMA Borneo South, Stable East Kalimantan, and Borneo Borneo West Circle
    PPLH Mangkubumi (Center for Environmental Education in Mangkubumi) is a forum for civil society groups consisting of non-governmental organizations, groups of nature lovers and non-governmental organizations. LSPP Mangkubumi was established on August 8, 2006 as a reaction and concern over the declining capacity of the environment for the management of natural resources, forests, water, rivers, and sources of life.
  • LSPP (Rural Development Study Circle) is a monitoring institution specifically for forest governance in the Java region and was established on 30 April 2015. In monitoring forestry in Java, LSPP collaborates with many non-governmental organizations and
    community groups, including Perhutani.
  • Auriga Nusantara is a non-governmental organization engaged in the preservation of natural and environmental resources which was established on November 12, 2009, previously named Silvagama. Auriga is active in
    encourage the process of improving forest governance with an anti-corruption approach, including the SVLK through policy studies and field monitoring.
  • ICEL (Indonesian Center for Environmental Law) was established in 1993 which aims to promote reform policies through environmental protection while increasing the capacity of governments and communities. ICEL works by conducting research, advocacy and capacity building for government and society.
    Download File: Press_Statement_PI_addNA