Continued efforts needed to improve Indonesia’s legal forestry management

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Indonesia’s civil society organisation, Jurnal Celebes recently released a report "Strengthening Indonesia’s Independent Forestry Monitoring Network to Ensure a Credible Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) and Effective VPA Implementation", reported ITTO.

Between October 2018 and December 2019, Jurnal Celebes monitored the management, distribution and trade of timber in the provinces of North Maluku, Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi and in the provinces of South Sulawesi and East Java. Their report raises concerns related to forest harvesting and extraction such as logging outside concession areas and subsequent conflict with communities; selling wood products obtained from outside concession areas and undertaking harvesting without first conducting environmental impact assessments. The report also identifies infringements by companies including misreporting timber species on transport documents and loaning SVLK certificates to uncertified businesses.

Commenting on the report, Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative of Indonesia, said the regulations should be reviewed to provide for prosecution of illegal forestry activities and there should be an expansion of joint supervision between civil society and law enforcement officials in the field to limit environmental impacts and conflict with local communities.

The Environmental Advocacy Journalists Association or JURnaL Celebes, consists of NGO activists and journalists in South Sulawesi. The institution is committed to drive the process of solving environmental problems, natural resource management and social problems through mentoring and capacity building.

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