Projects

We work on and support a number of projects – many in collaboration with our members – to build capacity and resilience in global supply chains. Projects range from community forest initiatives that help bring smallholder farmers to the international market, to educational centres that aim to improve the way companies and communities interact with each other.

APEHRAL (community forest)

APEHRAL (community forest)

  • Location: Java, Indonesia
  • Project type: Agroforestry
  • Area (hectares): 35,000
  • Started: February 2012
  • Status: Implementing certification action plan

APEHRAL is an association of over 1000 farmers in central Java, Indonesia, committed to sustainable forest management. We began working with the APEHRAL farmers in 2012 when they were still trading under ‘Klinik Tani’ (‘farmers clinic’ in Bahasa Indonesia). The farmers sit within 30 farmer groups, covering an area of 120 ha and ‘standing stock’ of 18,328 trees.

This work is all about supporting APEHRAL management and farmers, providing advice and training and engaging farmers on the ground to best ensure responsible forest management practices.

A key part of our role is supporting the farmers work towards FSC certification and timber legality. We also help connect them to local wood processors who supply wood products to international markets, helping them secure commercial value from their trees.

Kostajasa (community forest)

Kostajasa (community forest)

  • Location: Central Java, Indonesia
  • Project type: Agroforest
  • Area (hectares): 119
  • Started: September 2006
  • Status: FSC certified

The Kostajasa cooperative is a group of local farming families who have banded together to sustainably manage their mahogany forests. Currently, Kostajasa has 1,746 farmers from 27 farmers groups. Over half of those farmers are currently included in Kostajasa’s FSC group certificate, which will, in time, extend across all farmer groups.

We began working with Kostajasa in 2006 when member demand for mahogany led us to begin working with mahogany farmers in Kebumen District, Central Java.

With our support, Kostajasa aims to keep the forests intact, and to create a sustainable economy based on cooperatively managing these forests for the long-term. Members are learning how to plant and grow trees, monitor and protect wildlife, and sell to high value markets for responsibly-sourced mahogany. Supporting legal timber is a key area of our work so we’re also providing assistance to Kostajasa to prepare farmers for Indonesia’s timber legality legislation (SVLK).

In May 2016, Kostajasa passed its annual surveillance FSC audit, with just a few corrective action steps to take. Kostajasa has also achieved its wood sales target.

Punjab and Haryana Shisham

Punjab and Haryana Shisham

  • Location: Punjab and Haryana, India
  • Project type: Agroforest
  • Area (hectares): 8685
  • Started: March 2010
  • Status: Operational

In 2010 we began working with farmers in Punjab and Haryana, northern India, to improve their shisham cultivation. The aim is to help these farmers put sustainable and certified shisham wood resources onto the international market, maximising financial, environmental and social benefits at the local level.

Extending to 1,147 individual farmers in 192 villages and over 31,000 shisham trees, the projects are now well established and demonstrate that a farm-based model of shisham production for international markets can work. The project is attracting many new members, with over 70 farmers joining in 2016 alone.

Maisons du Monde, a leading French retailer, funds these projects, and buys much of the shisham wood that is produced. Farmers are not obliged to sell to Maisons du Monde suppliers, but most (59%) choose to do so.

Programmes have been conducted at schools in both of the project areas, to spread information about the projects to local communities.

Tales of the Indian lotus is a blog series exploring our work with the company Maisons du Monde and its work to transform its supply chain in India.

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

  • Location: Northern Laos
  • Project type: Plantation
  • Area (hectares): 225
  • Started: December 2007
  • Status: Beyond certification*

In 2007, we worked with the Government of Lao PDR and teak farmers in Luang Prabang to set up the Luang Prabang Teak Programme (LPTP) to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of teak farming. From humble beginnings, LPTP has grown to include 137 households in 4 villages.

Teak is an important part of local livelihoods in Laos but a number of factors including unclear land rights and a lack of basic silviculture knowledge and sustainable forest management techniques, diminished the returns for farmers.
Through LPTP, local communities are provided with training and information to help them engage in sustainable forest management and legally register their plantations. These new skills help farmers negotiate sales and meet international market requirements.

LPTP has developed a suite of communication materials including handbooks and short videos to build the capacity of farmers and convey messages about responsible products and forest management.

* Luang Prabang was FSC certified until April 2016, when TFT and the Luang Prabang Provincial Forestry Section (PFS) took the decision not to extend the certificate. Learn more here.

Centre of Social Excellence (CSE Africa)

Centre of Social Excellence (CSE Africa)

  • Location: Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • Project type: Education organisation
  • Started: 2009

The Centre for Social Excellence (CSE Africa) was founded by TFT to create improved relationships between logging companies and local communities. TFT’s work with logging companies in the Congo Basin found that there was limited understanding of how they could engage with those local communities.

Relations between the two groups were not always good. There was a tendency for logging companies to only communicate with local communities when there was a problem. While those problems may have the potential to create conflict, not apologising to the communities for any potential problem would make the problem worse.

First launched in 2009 in Congo-Brazzaville, then later moved to Cameroon, the CSE is training the forestry managers of the future. The aim was not simply to prevent conflict, but to create better relationships in order to help prevent it. It is equipping young graduates and professional foresters with the tools to initiate and sustain a constructive dialogue between forest dependent communities and forest managers.

The CSE is a learning centre that aims to promote and improve relationships between companies and local communities in the Congo Basin working with all aspects of social management including conflict resolution, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and worker’s rights. CSE graduates require very specific skills. They need to be able to listen and communicate effectively with a range of different stakeholders.

It is a one year course combining theoretical grounding, provided by a range of lecturers who are all renowned experts in social and forestry issues, with practical application via internships within forestry companies.

 

 

Centre of social excellence (CSE Indonesia)

Centre of social excellence (CSE Indonesia)

  • Location: Indonesia

CSE Indonesia aims to replicate the success of CSE Africa, which was launched in 2009. Although CSE Indonesia will work on a far bigger scale, offering a variety of different courses to suit the needs of different people. The newly learned skills CSE Indonesia will provide will empower practitioners and the organisations they work for to tackle the formidable social challenges faced today in Indonesia.

CSE Indonesia builds the capacity to manage natural and social resources more responsibly. It provides training to companies, government, NGOs, graduates and community leaders, which makes them far better equipped to engage with stakeholders. These skills can be used to tackle the causes of potential conflict that land development can cause in thousands of villages throughout Indonesia.

Visit CSE Indonesia’s website

Dipantara

Dipantara

  • Location: Java, Indonesia
  • Project type: Agroforest
  • Area (hectares): 653
  • Started: September 2007
  • Status: FSC certified

In 2007 Dipantara was a small business with just 10 farmer groups. Now, Dipantara is an independent  community trading initiative through which around 7,400 agro-forest farmers sell their teak and mahogany timber to furniture factories in Java that supply to international markets, including some of our European members.

On their own, these smallholders don’t produce enough timber to access such markets, but together they do. At the end of 2013, Dipantara had partnerships with 98 farmer groups in 25 villages in the Yogyakarta district of Java, Indonesia.

We first began to work with Dipantara to help them develop a business model based on community collaboration and environmental awareness. Connecting them to our members also meant that Dipantara was able to guarantee ongoing orders.

The partnership came to a close in 2015, with Dipantara having established itself as a confident and independent organisation, able to maintain the high standards required for socially and environmentally responsible wood production.  As well as developing strong market links and successfully maintaining FSC certification for nearly four consecutive years, Dipantara are now able to finance certification costs without TFT’s support, a major milestone for small, community forest enterprises wanting to achieve forest certification.

 

Multi Wahana Wijaya

Multi Wahana Wijaya

  • Location: West Papua, Indonesia
  • Project type: Natural forest
  • Area (hectares): 107,740
  • Started: June 2013
  • Status: Closed

West Papua is one of the most culturally diverse and bio-diverse provinces in the country, inhabited by hundreds of different groups of indigenous peoples. Merbau, one of the main species in the area, is a tropical hardwood that is facing commercial extinction and is on the IUCN red list of endangered species.

In 2011, PT Multi Wahana Wijaya (MWW) was granted a license to harvest 107,740 hectares of natural forest in West Papua over a period of 45 years. We began to work with MWW in June 2013 to help them work towards FSC certification. We’re also supported MWW towards FSC Chain of Custody certification to ensure wood can be tracked from the forest and segregated from non-controlled wood.

In May 2016 we made the decision to end our work with MWW. Without sufficient supply chain demand, our West Papua natural forest projects have struggled to make sustained progress beyond legality and traceability. Important local achievements include Reduced Impact Logging practices, instances of better community relations, and health and safety practices. Despite this, we do not see momentum building towards deep transformation at these projects.

Carus

Carus

  • Location: Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Project type: Natural forest
  • Area (hectares): 72,170
  • Started: January 2014
  • Status: FSC certified

PT Carus is a sister company of PT Dwimajaya Utama. Together, these two certified forest concessions in Kalimantan, Indonesia, cover almost 200,000 hectares of responsibly managed forest.

We spent several months working closely with PT Carus, a 72,170-hectare concession that is home to wildlife including the endangered orangutan. Achieving FSC certification is a credible step on the journey taken by PT Carus’ owners and staff, meaning its work will have a positive impact on both the environment and its own global trade of timber.

Work with PT Carus has focused on a rigorous training programme of sustainable forest management techniques and building capacity within the company to create the change required.

The project with the company has now ended.

Perhutani

Perhutani

  • Location: Java, Indonesia
  • Project type: Plantation
  • Area (hectares): Eight plantations totalling 234,000 hectares
  • Started: January 2003
  • Status: Suspended

On 19 February 2014, we learnt of a serious breach of Perum Perhutani’s Drop the Guns/DTG policy. As a result, we suspended our partnership with immediate effect.

TFT held meetings with Perhutani’s senior management about maintaining its commitments to not using guns.  This subsequent breach is completely unacceptable.

For this reason we had no choice but to formally suspend our partnership and advise Perum Perhutani that it needs to:

1. Engage with an independent party or parties to investigate this incident

2. Re-affirm its commitment and re-deploy the DTG policy by immediately removing any firearms in Perum Perhutani’s estates, including those used by third parties

3. Re-evaluate Perum Perhutani’s forest security system and current implementation.

Mitra Pembangunan Global

Mitra Pembangunan Global

  • Location: West Papua, Indonesia
  • Project type: Natural forest
  • Area (hectares): 83,900
  • Started: September 2011
  • Status: Closed

Located within the watersheds of the Sekak, Aimau and Lamundan rivers in West Papua, Mitra Pembangunan Global (MPG) is a natural forest concession covering around 84,000 hectares. The area is rich in Merbau (Intsia bijuga), Matoa, Nyatoh and other jungle trees, such as Tarentang and Binuang. Merbau, a dark, tropical hardwood, is facing commercial extinction and currently sits on the IUCN red list of endangered species.

We worked with MPG to implement sustainable forest management standards and to include the preservation of natural resources in future management plans.

In May 2016 we made the decision to end our work with MPG. Without sufficient supply chain demand, our West Papua natural forest projects have struggled to make sustained progress beyond legality and traceability. Important local achievements include Reduced Impact Logging practices, instances of better community relations, and health and safety practices. Despite this, we do not see momentum building towards deep transformation at these projects.

Long Dai

Long Dai

  • Location: Quang Binh Province, Vietnam
  • Project type: Natural forest
  • Area (hectares): 33,149
  • Started: January 2004
  • Status: FSC certified

The poor state of forests in Vietnam is one of the reasons TFT began. The experiences of our founder, Scott Poynton, with timber garden furniture led to a simple solution: a well-managed forest could be responsibly used to source wood.

It’s these principles we put into practice in Truong Son SFE, which has now achieved international recognition of a well-managed forest; FSC certification. It’s the first natural forest in Vietnam where the standards of sustainable management have been applied, opening access to the global market.

This transformation story not only means more sustainable practices on the ground leading to better managed forests, it also helps develop a more sustainable forest industry nationally.

Dwima Jaya Utama

Dwima Jaya Utama

  • Location: Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Project type: Natural forest
  • Area (hectares): 127,300
  • Started: November 2007
  • Status: FSC certified - Closed

This concession is located in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots: Central Kalimantan’s upper Katingan watershed on the island of Borneo is an important habitat for protected plants and animals, including orangutans, Bornean gibbons, clouded leopards and helmeted hornbills. Owned by Dwima Group, the concession’s four commercial specis are Bangkirai, Red Meranti, Mersawa and Keruing.

Borneo has more than 3,000 different species of trees. We’ve supported Dwimajaya Utama towards FSC certification, which was achieved in December 2012. This was the result of many years of intensive collaboration.

The certification is underpinned by Dwima’s commitment to strict social and environmental standards, including good forest management and respect for workers’ rights. Our work with Dwima has now ended.

Bao Yen

Bao Yen

  • Location: Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
  • Project type: Plantation
  • Area (hectares): 3,000
  • Started: May 2007
  • Status: Implementing certification action plan

Bao Yen is a State Forest Enterprise managing over 11,000 hectares of acacia plantation in northern Vietnam. We’ve been working with Bao Yen since 2007 to help them progress towards FSC certification, supporting them through training and market links to improve forest management.

In many areas, the traditional use of buffalo for agroforestry has been abandoned but for Bao Yen, buffalo are a key factor in Bao Yen’s forest management.

Most of the Bao Yen area is steep and there are few entry roads except for small paths not suitable for most vehicles. While motor transportation is used to take forestry products to the market, water buffalo are still very commonly used during silviculture, logging and transporting activities in the forest. As a low impact log extraction method, “Buffalo Skidders” contribute to the overall positive forest management practices and also provide a valuable alternative income generation tool for local communities.

Biso na Biso radio

Biso na Biso radio

  • Location: Congo
  • Project type: Community radio station
  • Area (hectares): 1.3 million hectares
  • Started: 2009

Launched in 2009, Biso na Biso is the first indigenous peoples’ language radio station in the Congo Basin. The unique project was led by Dr Jerome Lewis, with support from Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) and TFT. The community radio station is based in the north of the Congo, which is home to some 16,000 forest people across 1.3 million hectares of tropical forest – 9,000 are from indigenous semi-nomadic Pygmy communities.

The Pygmy community approached TFT with interest in starting this radio station to help them take a stand on forest management. Historically, these communities have had no voice in any decision-making affecting their forest homes, their livelihoods or their traditional land use rights. Biso na Biso, which  means ‘between us’ in Lingala, promotes all of these things by providing communication which positively impacts lives and protect the forests.