Ensuring Inclusion for Timber Growers and MSMEs to Produce Legal and Sustainable Timber Forest Products

An in-person public event on the government’s timber legality system (Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas dan Kelestarian or SVLK) for timber growers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan

One of the causes of tropical deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia is illegal logging. Based on data from the Directorate General of Forestry Planning and Environmental Management (PKTL) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), deforestation in 2018-2019, both within and outside the country’s forest areas, amounted to 462,400 hectares.

Central Kalimantan has also experienced significant deforestation and forest degradation. The forests are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including species that are now threatened with extinction, such as orangutans, pangolins, and helmeted hornbills.

One of the government’s efforts to prevent illegal logging to lower rates of deforestation and forest degradation is through the timber legality system called Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas dan Kelestarian (SVLK). The system aims to ensure that timber products are produced legally and sustainably. SVLK is mandatory for all timber business actors throughout the supply chain, including timber farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). However, they often find it difficult to comply with SVLK standards because they have limited technical capacity and funding sources.

These problems need to be solved by multi-stakeholders. 

Since September 2020, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service and Yayasan Inobu have teamed up to support timber farmers and MSMEs in adopting sustainable practices and obtaining SVLK certificates. Recently, a hybrid public event was held on November 17-18, 2021, in Palangkaraya and Pangkalan Bun to share lessons learned and action plans from the collaboration. The activities were supported by the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme.

The event was titled SVLK Certification for Wood Processing Producers and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Closing Workshop on Sustainable Activities for Wood Processing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia and featured several speakers, including representatives from KLHK, Forest Farming Groups (KTH), and Yayasan Inobu. 

The two-day in-person event was attended by various stakeholders in Central Kalimantan, including representatives from forest farming groups as well as central and local governments, such as KLHK, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service, the Production Forest Management Unit (KPHP), and the Production Forest Management Center (BPHP). Meanwhile, the online meeting was also attended by representatives of international organizations, such as the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), USAID SEGAR, and Fairventures Worldwide.

Participants were listening to the in-person event held in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan

Acting director of the Business Development for Social Forestry and Customary Forest at KLHK, Catur Endah Pratsetiani, explained the Social Forestry Policy and Utilization of Timber Forest Products in Social Forestry Areas. Social forestry is sustainable forest management implemented within state forest areas or private/customary forests by local communities or customary law communities.

She also cited the facilities provided by the government in the administration of forest products, including the provision of technical personnel, assistance in the Online Forest Administration System (SIPUHH), assistance in measuring and numbering of timber, and harvested timber measurement records.

Yoga Prayoga, the head of the sub-directorate of forest product certification and marketing of the directorate of forest product processing and marketing at KLHK, detailed the activities related to SVLK that are facilitated by KLHK for MSMEs, such as the inventory and verification of MSMEs, capacity building of SVLK actors, training of extension workers, SVLK certification or surveillance, technical assistance or the evaluation of SVLK implementation, raising awareness of SVLK regulations, and purchasing of certified products from MSMEs.

Presentation by Yoga Prayoga, Head of Sub-Directorate for Certification and Marketing of Forest Products at the Directorate of Forest Product Processing and Marketing, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK)

Yayasan Inobu also shared the findings from the study conducted in 2020, which included the perception of timber MSMEs towards SVLK, their understanding of government policies, and the development of government programs for MSMEs. The purpose of this study is to support the adoption of SVLK by timber MSMEs in Central Kalimantan through SVLK certification at the district level.

For this study, Inobu conducted in-depth interviews with seven community plantation forest (HTR) farmers, one timber-processing MSME, two representatives from large companies, and three timber middlemen in Kotawaringin Barat, as well as four timber-processing MSMEs in Palangkaraya.

“Some solutions that can be considered are partnerships between farmers and large-scale industries, such as financial aid for certification for small scale suppliers from large companies, technical assistance, and group certification initiatives,” said Adi Gangga, a researcher at Yayasan Inobu.

In addition to conducting research, Inobu also seeks to assist small-scale farmers in the certification process by establishing farmer groups, which are expected to simplify and reduce the cost of the certification process. However, the establishment of this farmer group requires a lot of coordination, such as raising awareness and field assessments.

In the process, PT Korintiga Hutani, a forest management company in Kotawaringin Barat, is also planning to establish a cooperative for its suppliers to obtain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. PT Korintiga Hutani proposed a partnership with Inobu to support HTR in obtaining SVLK certification under the cooperative. Inobu has held several meetings with PT Korintiga Hutani and KPHP Kotawaringin Barat to discuss possible partnerships that share the same mission: supporting and empowering HTR.

Michael Padmanaba, a researcher and Conservation and Biodiversity Manager at Yayasan Inobu, conveyed the action plans following the coordination done by Yayasan Inobu in the past year. The research institute will continue to coordinate with other parties, including PT Korintiga Hutani and KPHP Kotawaringin Barat.

The follow-up actions include the development of cooperative institutions for KTH cooperative members and non-members KTHs as well as supporting the SVLK and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification process for KTHs who are cooperative members.

This program is expected to help farmers and MSMEs in obtaining timber legality certificates and participate in protecting forests from illegal logging.

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This publication was produced with the support of the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme. The Programme is funded by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of FAO, the Swedish International Cooperation Agency, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, or the European Union.