Bogor, October 3, 2013. The signing of the VPA (Voluntary Partnership Agreement) between Indonesia and the European Union was carried out September 30, 2013. Many hope that this voluntary partnership agreement will become an opportunity to strengthen law enforcement, stop the illegal timber trade and encourage improved governance forests in Indonesia.
After the signing of this voluntary partnership agreement, the seriousness of the European Union and the Indonesian government will be tested in an effort to eradicate illegal logging and trade. The next stage was to ratify both parties to provide a legal basis for this voluntary partnership agreement. After that, all wood products exported from Indonesia to the European Union must be equipped with V-Legal documents as proof that the products produced are from legal and sustainable sources.
Thus there will be many obligations that must be immediately resolved by permit holders before this agreement is truly implemented. Muhamad Kosar, campaigner for Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) forest, revealed, “The reality is in the upstream areas such as IUPHHK-HA companies (Business Permit for Utilization of Timber Forest Products in Natural Forests) and IUPHHK-HT (Business Permit for Utilization of Timber Forest Products in Plantations), many do not yet have certificates in the SVLK. ” “Moreover, the IPK holders, the percentage is still far from the total number of IPK companies currently available,” said M. Kosar.
Data compilation conducted by FWI found that out of a total of 296 IUPHHK-HA companies there were only 92 companies that had PHPL certificates and only 23 companies had passed VLK-Forest. Likewise with the IUPHHK-HT company, out of 234 active companies, only 32 companies received PHPL certificates, and for the VLK-Forest scheme there were only 42 companies.
The postponement of obligations for IUPHHK-HA and HT companies to join SVLK as stated in Minister of Forestry Regulation No. 42 / Menhut-II / 2013, it is the same as the Ministry of Forestry opening opportunities for compromise. Muhamad Kosar, explained, “The delay in holding certificates for these companies has occurred since the process of revision of Minister of Forestry Regulation No. 38 / Menhut-II / 2009 and this has happened 3 times. “” If this delay is repeated again, it is not impossible if the credibility of the SVLK will be questioned, “said Kosar.
Meanwhile, Abu Meridian as JPIK’s National Dynamics (Independent Forest Monitoring Network) said that SVLK monitoring was constrained due to the lack of basic data and information about forest concession holders and industry. “Currently Independent Monitor (PI) is still faced with obscurity and data openness and information in the field of forestry,” said Abu.
Independent monitors have become part of the SVLK system and their existence is recognized in regulations, so access to data and information should not be debated anymore. “Not only that, we also requested that a protocol and mechanism for complaints and safeguards be immediately put in place when we were monitoring,” Abu said.
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
- Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) is an independent forest monitoring network consisting of individuals and organizations that are committed to realizing an open process of forestry data and information management in Indonesia so as to ensure equitable and sustainable forest resource management. This organization is based in Bogor. More information about this organization can be found on the website www.fwi.or.id
- JPIK is an Independent Forest Monitoring Network that was agreed and declared on 23 September 2010 by 29 NGOs and NGO Networks from Aceh to Papua. The establishment of JPIK is a manifestation of its commitment to actively contribute in promoting good forestry governance by ensuring credibility and accountability of the implementation of a Sustainable Production Forest Management Performance Assessment System (PK-PHPL) and Timber Legality Verification (VLK) as stated but not limited to -Permenhut P38 / 2009 and its changes and derivative regulations.
- The Timber Legality Verification Standard (SVLK) is a requirement to fulfill the timber legality / product made based on the agreement of forestry stakeholders which includes standards, criteria, indicators, verifiers, verification methods, and assessment norms. The Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) refers to Minister of Forestry Regulation No. P.38 / Menhut-II / 2009 jo P.68 / Menhut-II / 2011 jo P.45 / Menhut-II / 2012 jo P.42 / Menhut-II / 2013 . While the V-Legal document is a license in the SVLK as evidence that the products produced are from legal and sustainable sources.
- Forestry Minister’s Regulation Number: P.38 / Menhut-II / 2009 and the changes can be seen in the following link: Kompilasi Permenhut P.38 Tahun 2009 dan perubahannya (SVLK)
- Data and information of companies that already have certificates are based on presentations at the Workshop on Monitoring for the Credibility and Accountability of SVLK Implementation. Directorate General of Forestry Business Development, Ministry of Forestry on September 17, 2013