Conservation NGOs and Forestry Training & Education Center Train Forest Consessionnaires from Kalimantan & Papua
Berau, East Kalimantan, 13 May 2011 - Indonesia’s national Forestry Training and Education Center launched a new Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Extension and Outreach program with a 10-day training course for forest companies on 3-11 May 2011 in Tanjung Redeb, Berau District. The new SFM Extension and Outreach program, jointly designed by The Forest Trust, The Nature Conservancy and the Forestry Training and Education Center, combines a wide range of technical materials under one practical program to guide concessions to an end goal of sustainable forest management. The tools and materials will be widely available through Forestry Training and Education Center for use by all concessionaires. At the event, Dr Muhammad Firman, Director of the Forest Utilization Department, Ministry of Forestry joined Mr. Helmi Basalamah, Head of the Forestry Training and Education Center, in encouraging the 18 forest companies present at the event to develop the management systems needed to achieve independent third-party certification.
National Forestry Council data show that until the end of 2009, nearly half the forest area in Indonesia (equivalent to around 56 million hectares) was not managed effectively. The implementation of sustainable forest management remains low, with approximately 54% of 324 natural forest concessions (28,271,043 ha) applying the principles of sustainability in their operations.
The training was conducted in line with Ministry decree No. P 38/Menhut-II/2009 for the implementation of Standards and Guidelines for SFM and Performance Assessment of Timber Legality Verification (VLK) – a new timber legality standard introduced by the Ministry of Forestry to ensure increased forest sector transparency and accountability. This standard is relevant for any license holder and requires companies to clarify local land rights in the areas they are operating in , a prerequisite for SFM and forest certification. The training is helping to increase human resource capacity in the management of production forests, particularly among the middle and upper management levels in each forest concession. The full SFM Extension and Outreach program, now available to all concessions through the Forestry Training and Education Center, is taking the SFM support that is often provided by conservation organizations on a one-on-one basis from a “retail to wholesale” approach in order to scale up and meet growing demand for legal and sustainable timber.
SFM certification (with the mandatory legality standard) is increasingly necessary in order for companies to stay competitive and maintain access to to high value markets like the European Union and the United States, among others. The Indonesian government expects certification to prompt an increase in the production of sustainable wood products to compete in the changing global market.
In a speech at the opening ceremony Mr. Helmi Basalamah observed, "There is good news that more and more owners of natural forest concessions are realising the importance of sustainable forest management. This indicates a significant change in mindset that environmental and social factors as well as production aspects must be considered in the harvesting of forest products". Along with Mr Basalamah and Dr Muhammad Firman, the launch was attended by Mr. Darwis Syukur, Head of Berau Forest Service, representatives from The Nature Conservancy and Representative Head of The Forest Trust Indonesia.
The training took place both in the classroom and in the field, at the PT Inhutani I-Mera'ang forest concession. Training modules included Timber Legality Verification and Criteria & Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management, Reduced Impact Logging, Chain of Custody (or supply chain management), and High Conservation Value Forest Management. The course training instructors were from the Directorate of Processing & Marketing of Forest Products, The Forestry Training Center, IPB (Bogor Agricultural Institute), The Nature Conservancy and The Forest Trust.
In the words of Mr. Siswanto, Manager of Manokwari Mandiri Lestari concession in West Papua, "By following this SFM manager training, I am equipped with adequate knowledge of how to manage forests sustainably and I am sure I can prepare the concession where I work to achieve these conditions and achieve SFM certification".
The training took place under the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) program, a regional program financed by the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. RAFT works across Asia and the Pacific to improve forest management and trade practices, thereby reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This includes working with more than 35 forest companies in to improve forest management across nearly 4 million hectares of tropical forest in Indonesia. RAFT has also worked closely with the Ministry of Forestry to support the development of Indonesia’s new timber legality standard and the recent conclusion of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
These activities also support the Berau Forest Carbon Program, a district-scale REDD+ Demonstration Activity in Indonesia. With approximately half of Indonesia’s total forest area designated as Production Forests, sustainable forest management must part of the solution to forest loss and carbon emissions in Indonesia, particularly in densely forested and highly threatened areas like Berau. The Berau Forest Carbon Program aims to reduce carbon emissions by at least 10 million tons within five years.
The 18 forest companies who participated in the training included: PT Inhutani I Unit Labanan (Berau), PT Inhutani I Unit Meraang (Berau), PT Inhutani I Unit Sambarata (Berau), PT Amindo Wana Persada (Berau), PT Aditya Kirana Mandiri (Berau), PT Wanabhakti Persada Utama (Berau), PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya IV (Berau), PT Rizki Kacida Reana (Berau), PT Karya Lestari (Berau), PT Narkata Rimba (Kutim), PT Gunung Gajah Abadi (Kutim), PT Rodamas Timber Kalimantan (Kubar), PT Ratah Timber Company (Kubar), PT Kemakmuran Berkah Timber (Kubar), PT Belayan River Timber (Kubar), PT Adimitra Lestari (Nunukan), PT Dwima Jaya Utama (Kalteng), and PT Manokwari Mandiri Lestari (Papua Barat)
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