December 20, 2021 – South Sumatra Province hosts the third FGD series under the title “Building Synergy Between Forest Service (Local Government) and Independent Forest Monitoring in TLAS Implementation”. The event took place at Amaris Hotel, Palembang, and was attended by several participants both from the Local Government, namely the Forest Agency, Forest Management Unit (KPH) Lalan Mendis, and JPIK focal point. In addition, the FGD event was also attended online by bangda Kemendagri, members of FWI and JPIK, Production Forest Management Agency (BPHP) South Sumatra, and PT Musi Hutan Persada.

The discussion was relaxed and warm, the parties present conveyed their various views and involvement in the implementation of regional TLAS. The Forest Service said that their involvement in the certification assessment process was minimal, and was only invited at the time of the final public consultation. Thus, it cannot provide input or input in the implementation of TLAS assessment objects.

The intensity of forestry business licensing in South Sumatra includes industrial timber plantation (HTI) as many as 20-business units, with a concession area reaching 1.3 million ha, and only 8-units have certified (S-PHL) with a decent grade. While for the processing industry with a capacity below 6000 M3  there are 97 units, and above 6000 M3  there are 13 units. The Forest Agency in the area admitted that it was difficult to know the data of licensing units and processing industries that had been certified because there were no assessment notification results from verification institutions.

The results of monitoring the Production Forest Management Agency (BPHP) related to TLAS, industries with capacities above 6000 M3 send their annual report monthly, while for medium to under 2000 M3 industries are still not completely certified, and there are also those whose validity has expired. BPHP also conducted a random field check and found that identified and assessed inputs, are different from the certified output. Meanwhile, there are no firm sanctions against violations of the rules in the implementation of TLAS.

Current information systems (eg. SIPUHH, PNBP, information systems for RKU, etc.) contain data and/or information that facilitates the process of identifying certification objects, but distribution and access to such information systems remain partial. So that, the process of TLAS supervision implementation is not comprehensive enough. The Forest Agency also revealed that sometimes it is found to be out of sync with manual data samples with data input in the information system (e.g., reports of log mutations (LMKB)).

Some important notes that emerged from FGD in South Sumatra Province related to synergies between the role of the government and independent forest monitoring in the future include:

  1. Independent Forest Monitoring (PI) and/or Verification/Assessment Institution (LPVI) shall coordinate with the Regional Forest Agency, especially regarding the data distribution and information access in the implementation of TLAS in the regional area.
  2. The Regional Forest Agency together with Independent Monitors conducted a joint monitoring/evaluation related to the Industrial Timber Plantation (HTI) to ensure that companies have complied with business laws and regulations.
  3. Verification/Assessment Institution (LPVI) which will conduct the assessment of the company is expected to involve the local government so that TLAS can be implemented properly.