The Government of Indonesia has mandatory stipulated the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) according to Minister of Forestry Regulation Number P.38 / Menhut-II / 2009 as lastly amended by Minister of Forestry Regulation Number P.42 / Menhut-II / 2013. In operationalizing the implementation refers to the Director General of BUK No.8 / 2012. SVLK is an initiative and commitment of the Government of Indonesia, not by encouragement or intervention from other countries in an effort to guarantee the legality of timber and Indonesian timber products marketed both domestically and export destinations (increasing competitiveness and opening market opportunities), suppressing illegal logging , towards achieving Sustainable Production Forest Management (PHPL), improving community welfare, increasing compliance with applicable regulations, building a culture of the use of legal products, and in order to improve the dignity of the nation. Thus said the Director of Forest Product Processing and Marketing (BPPHH) Ministry of Forestry-RI, DR. Dwi Sudharto on the occasion of a revised public consultation on Bali, NTB, NTT, Maluku, Papua and West Papua Regional SVLK regulations at Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel, Denpasar when giving directions on March 4, 2014.
Dwi Sudharto further emphasized that the SVLK rules at the same time responded to the trend in international timber trade which requires proof of legality, such as America with the “Amendment Lacey Act”, the European Union with the “EU Timber Regulation”, Australia with the “Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act” and Japan with “Green Konyuho” or “Goho Wood”. Indonesia has made progress compared to other countries in the trade sector in timber forest products. With SVLK, illegal logging and illegal trading activities can be overcome, although the behavior of illegal logging will continue to be a challenge in the future.
He explained that the SVLK was built through a long process involving multistakeholders both academics, associations engaged in the forestry sector, relevant ministries, NGOs, and so on. In the preparation of the SVLK three main principles are adopted, namely good governance (in order to improve good governance), representativeness (representation of the parties) and credibility (credibility of the system being built). In the framework of implementing the policy, there are things that are learning in the field which in turn requires policy improvement. On the other hand, the VPA was finally signed in Brussels, on 30 September 2013. Republic of Indonesia Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, and Lithuanian Environment Minister Valentinas Mazuronis who was the EU Presidency, signed a Cooperation Agreement between Indonesia and the Union Europe (EU) in Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade in the Forestry Sector or the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT-VPA).
FLEGT-VPA aims to stop the illegal timber trade and ensure that only timber and timber products that have been verified for legality may be imported by the EU from Indonesia. Indonesia is the first Asian country to sign FLEGT-VPA with the EU, and so far has been the largest timber exporting country to sign FLEGT-VPA. This signing was the culmination of six years of intensive and constructive negotiations involving the private sector, civil society and the government of both parties.
In the framework of full implementation of FLEGT-VPA a Joint Assessment has been carried out on the suitability of the SVLK with the EUTR (April-September 2013). The results of the Joint Assessment are then set forth in the EU-EU Action Plan on FLEGT-VPA in accordance with the agreement of the Government of Indonesia and the European Union at the Joint Prepatory Committee (JPC) and Joint Expert Meeting (JEM) on November 26 & 28 2013.
In the action plan, the main activity is the Revised Regulation of the Director General of Forestry Business Development No. P.8 / 2012 concerning SVLK and its attachments which include guidelines for importing legal timber, follow up on the results of the MK’s decision on customary forests, access to information, Independent Monitoring etc. In addition, it was agreed that the revision process of the Regional Secretariat would be carried out in a multiphak manner. The Draft Revised Regulation on BUK has been discussed through an initial consultation process with stakeholders, which has been carried out throughout 2013 at least 6 times. However, to ensure that the revisions made are more comprehensive and get wider input, the Ministry of Forestry intends to carry out several Regional and National Consultations (in the final stages) about the revised draft of Perdirjen No. P.8 / 2012 with all parties related to the SVLK implementation process. The Regional Consultations in 3 Regional (West, East and Central) will be held in February-March 2014. While the National Consultation, namely the consolidation of the results of the Regional Consultation, will be held in the second week of March 2014 in Jakarta. It is expected that in the final stage of this activity the ‘legal drafting’ process will be carried out by the ‘Technical Team’ after getting the proposed revisions from the National Consultation.
This regional consultation activity was supported by the VPA Support Project which was a follow-up to the decision of the MFP-2 Steering Committee on 12 December 2013, in which UKCCU and the Ministry of Forestry agreed that important activities must be completed related to SVLK and VPA before MFP3 was operational. Activities contained in the Indonesia-EU Action Plan on FLEGT-VPA. In order to carry out these activities, the Ministry of Forestry cq. DG BUK / Dit. BPPHH (S.675 / BPPHH-4/2013) and UKCCU have agreed to enter into a collaboration called the VPA Support Project and directly appoint the KEHATI Foundation as the Service Provider.
The purpose is Strengthening Standards and Guidelines for Implementing PHPL Performance Assessments and Verifying Timber Legality. Completion of the Revised Draft PerDirjen BUK No.8 / 2012 through a comprehensive discussion process with the parties by also considering the Joint Assessment Results which then in accordance with the agreement on the Joint Prepatory Committee and Joint Expert Meeting between the Indonesian and European Union Delegations set forth in the EU-EU Action Plan on FLEGT-VPA.
As is known, that the agenda of the public consultation that took place in several regions on 17-18 February 2014: Medan, Regional Sumatra Region (except Lampung) and All Kalimantan; 25 – 26 February 2014: Yogyakarta, Regional Areas of Java, South Sumatra, Lampung and Sulawesi; 4–5 March 2014: Denpasar, Regional Areas of Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua and West Papua; and planned for 11-14 March 2014 or possibly March 19, 2014: National Consultation in Jakarta. The National Consultation will be jointly funded by the Government of Indonesia and the United Kingdom’s VPA Support Project and the DIPA of the Ministry of Forestry’s BPPHH Directorate and other legitimate sources. While participants consisting of parties involved consisted of NGOs (Independent Monitoring Agencies), Verification Institutions, government, private sector, associations, universities, business people and other relevant institutions in three regional regions.
*** JASOIL Coordinator for Tanah Papua / JPIK West Papua Focalpoint – Pietsau Amafnini