Independent Investigators (PI) is one of the main actors in the Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) in Indonesia. PI consists of civil society organizations and communities who live around forest areas to monitor how the forestry actors implement SVLK to ensure system accountability and credibility.
The existence of PI to monitor SVLK implementation brings positive impacts on efforts to improve the system. PI’s important roles legally stated in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation (PerMenLHK) P.30/Menlhk/Setjen/PHPL.3/3/2016. However, in reality, PIs often face significant challenges to maintain their roles. It related to assurance of access to information, safety and security, capacity and numbers of PIs, and sustainability of funding support to conduct their monitoring roles.
Furthermore, forestry crime practices continue to happen in Indonesia. At the end of 2018 and early 2019, Directorate General of Law Enforcement (Gakkum) Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) seized more than 400 containers of illegal timber sent from West Papua. It is strongly suspected that the apparatus behind illegal timber laundering was involved. The SVLK regulation implemented in Indonesia aiming to combat illegal logging practices, but the Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) sees a lot of gaps for manipulation so that illegal timber can enter the legal timber market for export.
To strengthen forest governance, especially SVLK, monitoring activities by the independent investigators (PI) are needed. Huge demand to maintain the credibility of SVLK needs skills and proficiency of the investigators to be able to monitor intensively and continuously. Therefore, they can provide constructive recommendations for the SVLK improvement.
The capacity building of PIs is also critical to be able to investigate deeply modus operandi of illegal logging on the upstream/ sources of logging, to downstream/ destination of transport, to industry locations, then export. One of the efforts to improve the capacity of the independent investigators is through workshop and training for local/ indigenous communities.
The workshop and training aimed to strengthen the capacity of the independent investigators around forest areas and timber industry/transit/ port to monitor timber trading. It is done to ensure SVLK implementation in Indonesia runs effectively, credible, and accountable.
The National Secretariat of Independent Forest Monitoring Network (Seknas JPIK) supported by Food and Agriculture Organization Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) conducted those workshops and training in three regions from July to August, namely Java, Kalimantan, and Sumatera Regions. Each event conducted in big cities such as Yogyakarta, Pontianak in West Kalimantan, and Palembang in South Sumatera. The participants are JPIK focal points spread across Indonesia.
After the training, participants are expected to gain competence and skills on:
- Understand the context of SVLK in forest governance and its implementation in Indonesia
- Understand the system of forest product administration and supply chain
- Know how to access and get a source of data and information to support monitoring
- Ability to explain critical spots of assessment standards on Indicators of Timber Legality Certification (S-LK) and Certification of Sustainable Production Forest Management (S-PHPL)
- Ability to develop a monitoring plan, monitoring activities, and formulate reports of monitoring results/ investigation, disseminate information and complaint report to related parties, and following up complaint report.
Ability to be an investigator with independent monitoring capacity to monitor SVLK implementation in Indonesia.