Indonesia`s timber legally approved by EU

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Independent Forestry Monitoring Network (JPIK) stated the Timber Legality Verification System (SLVK), which is Indonesias timber legality assurance system, has been recognized by the European Union as evidenced by cooperation agreement in the timber trade between Indonesia and the European Union which began on Tuesday (Nov 15).

“The recognition of SVLK is a success and challenge for Indonesia to be able to consistently execute SVLK credibly and accountably,” a National dynamist of the Network, Muhamad Kosar, said in a press release received by ANTARA in Jakarta.

He explained after going through the process of 14 years for system development and nine years for Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, Indonesia eventually becomes the first country in the world to receive a FLEGT license.

A FLEGT license guarantees that timber from a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) country has been harvested, processed and exported in accordance with national laws.

Kosar said through this scheme, Indonesias timber products which was certified by SVLK no longer need to go through due diligence and it will automatically go through the green lane customs in the EU countries.

However, Indonesia should continue to work hard to maintain the credibility of the system by showing its seriousness in following up the findings of violations in the implementation of the SVLK.

In addition, the strengthening of SVLK standards by improving various regulations are also important to achieve sustainable and equitable forest management.

“Although the system is not perfect but this initiative has forced every party to make improvements and to show accountability, which in the long run will have an impact on improving forest governance,” he said.

SVLK is currently the only system that is applied on a mandatory basis for addressing trafficking and illegal timber trading and deforestation.

“Through this scheme, all timber businesses and their trades are audited to ensure their compliance with laws and regulations,” Kosar said.

Forest Campaign Leader EIA (the Environmental Investigation Agency), Faith Doherty said the EU should bear the burden with the Indonesian government.

“EU countries shall only accept legal timber. In addition, the EU should continue to strengthen the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation and ensure the monitoring and enforcement as well as follow-up on trading illegal timber information to the EU, including those reported by independent observers, ” he said.(*)