PHPL: From Legality to Sustainability

PHPL: From Legality to Sustainability

This report explored the environmental credentials, performance, and additionality of Indonesia’s Sustainable Forest management (SFM) standard, or Pengelolaan Hutan Produksi Lestari (PHPL). In particular, it assessed the extent to which PHPL could contribute to sustainability and legality of timber resources in Indonesia. Methodologically, the analysis drew from two sample provinces (Central and East Kalimantan) to compare forest conditions in PHPL certified concessions with those in nonPHPL concessions (VLK), and non-certified concessions from 2015 to 2017. The report found that PHPL certified concessions overall demonstrated better environmental performance in comparison to SVLK certified concessions or non-certified concessions.

However, PHPL and other selective logging concessions face significant constraints in realizing their sustainability potentials mainly due to overlapping land use policies that threaten concession integrity and prevent long-term management planning. This report also found that the evaluation method used by the Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) on the performance of PHPL and other selective logging concessions did not fully reflect the reality. That is, CABs disregard factors they deem to be beyond the concessionaries control (external, overlapping land use permits).

As found in this report, these external factors fundamentally shape environmental conditions in concession areas and thus condition the extent to which PHPL could reach its sustainability potentials. Therefore, this paper recommends that the standard and criteria for the evaluation of PHPL concessions need to be revised to ensure that internal and external factors that affect a concession are taken into account when implementing assessments or monitoring. Most importantly, this assessment indicates that overlapping land use permits needs to be addressed for PHPL to fully achieve its sustainability potentials.

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