Bogor, December 13, 2017. Illegal logging and smuggling of logs can be rife again in Indonesia if the proposal of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to enforce log exports is approved. Kaoem Telapak and the Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) strongly reject this proposal because it can hamper the development of the domestic timber industry.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) through the Secretary General, Bambang Hendroyono plans to open a log export export faucet which has been banned for 16 years due to excess supply of logs. While in reality, Indonesia’s primary forestry industry still lacks raw materials for logs. The realization of the fulfillment of primary forestry industry raw materials above 6000 m3 in the span of five years from 2013-2017 has not reached 80% of the fulfillment plan.

Indonesia imposed a log export ban in 2001 through a Joint Decree (SKB) of the Minister of Forestry and the Minister of Industry and Trade. This decision was taken to deal with illegal logging and smuggling of logs which were very prevalent at the time.

However, during the period of the export ban there were still cases of large-scale logs smuggling. Telapak and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 2005 revealed the illegal trade in merbau wood from Papua to China, where around 300,000 m3 of merbau logs were smuggled into China every month. Furthermore, in 2010, there were 23 containers containing Merbau logs captured by Customs and Excise at the Tanjung Priok Port – which is planned to be sent to China. Law enforcement for these two cases is not able to reach the main brain or timber king behind the forest crime. 

If the planned re-enactment of log exports is properly established, it is alleged that the crime of illegal logging and timber smuggling will re-bloom. In addition, it will also have an impact on the high rate of Termination of Employment (PHK) for primary and advanced industry employees.

Log exports will encourage production efficiency, if on average each forestry industry employs a minimum of 200 workers per factory, it is possible that around 150 thousand workers will experience layoffs in the near future, and it is estimated that around 600 industries will be threatened because of the absence of raw materials. The domestic market will slowly close, which has a fatal impact on small-scale timber industry managed by the community, at least 10 workers per timber utility company will also lose their jobs due to loss of raw materials.

Not only that, the export of logs will reduce biodiversity. The high rate of forest degradation and deforestation because illegal logging to obtain logs will eliminate most of the germplasm in Indonesia’s forest areas.

Kaoem Telapak and JPIK asked the Ministry of LHK to cancel the planned re-enforcement of log exports. We also called on the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Trade, to reject the plan to implement log exports. We ask the three ministries to work together to ensure the supply of round wood raw materials for the primary forestry industry from legal and sustainable sources and encourage the strengthening of the forestry industry not only for the export market but also the domestic market.

The Press Release document can be downloaded at the following link:

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Johanes Jenito (Kaoem Telapak Forest Campaigner)
Mobile: +62 811 522 1985

M Kosar (JPIK National Dynamics)
Mobile: +62 813 1872 6321