Make Japanese Reconstruction Assistance an Opportunity to Support SVLK Implementation

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The request for reconstruction assistance from Japan is an opportunity for IThe request for reconstruction assistance from Japan is an opportunity for Indonesia to implement regulations on wood and see that only legally exported wood products.

Telapak and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) received information that the Japanese government had requested assistance from Indonesia. Japan needs two million pieces of plywood to rebuild the area affected by the tsunami.¹

In September 2010, Indonesia began implementing a timber legality assurance system, known as the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) ²; currently capacity building in the industry has begun an audit program. Many companies are adjusting to the SVLK, which will help to combat lack of transparency and illegal actions in the timber sector.

On 4 May 2011, Indonesia and the European Union signed on May 4, 2011, Indonesia and the European Union signed a bilateral agreement, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), established the definition of legality and ensured that products are exported from Indonesia, harvested, transported and exported are in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in Indonesia.

Telapak and EIA urge the Japanese government to only look for SVLK certified wood products from Indonesia and not to import illegal plywood from other suppliers who are not concerned with legality in their imports.

Mardi Minangsari, Coordinator of the Telapak Forest Campaign said, “In 2004, the west coast of Aceh in Indonesia was hit by a tsunami which claimed 230,000 lives. During the reconstruction, the contractor sought to obtain legal wood. “

“We believe this is another opportunity to turn a tragic event into something positive by supporting legal-sourced products that Japan can use to rebuild its community,” added Mardi Minangsari.

As part of the initial rehabilitation, the United Nations Program for the Tsunami Affected Countries, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released information records for obtaining wood for tsunami reconstruction in Indonesia. It is clearly stated that all timber buyers must ensure that they obtain timber that complies with Indonesian law..³

Faith Doherty from EIA said, “This is a golden opportunity for Japan to create a legality system as a compliment to the SVLK that is implemented in Indonesia.”

“Dibu”A large commitment is needed from the Indonesian government and many donors are supporting the reconstruction of Aceh to ensure that legal and sustainable wood is obtained. We hope that Japan will do the same. “

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) based in Japan has previously funded a pilot project in Indonesia to develop and implement guidelines to combat illegal logging. Furthermore, ITTO agrees that the project must support projects to assist producer countries in combating illegal logging.4

“Indonesia telah memiliki sistem, salah satu yang paling utama adalah S”Indonesia already has a system, one of the most important is SVLK. The ITTO is an organization that has tried to support Indonesia in combating illegal logging and can continue to do so by ensuring that the industry only gets legal timber and wood products, “Faith Doherty added.

Interviews available with requests Interviews available on request; please contact:

Faith Doherty: faithdoherty@eia-international.org or 020 7354 7960

Mardi Minangsari: mardiminangsari@gmail.com or +62 811111918.

Note for Editor:

  1. Telapak is an association of NGO activists, business practitioners, academics, media affiliates, and indigenous peoples. Telapak works together with indigenous peoples, farmers and fishermen in Indonesia to realize sovereignty and a dignified and sustainable life. One of Telapak’s main missions is to lead change towards democracy and sustainability. Information about Telapak can be found on the website www.kaoemtelapak.org
  2. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an environmental organization that investigates and campaigns against environmental crimes, including wildlife trade, illegal logging, toxic waste, and trade in chemicals that change ozone and climate. Information about EIA can be found on the website www.eia-international.org

Footnote:

(1) Tropical Timber Market Report. ITTO Market Information Service(MIS) Volume 16 Number 9, 1st-15th May 2011.

(2) Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu)

(3)http://www.fao.org/forestry/117020255f091f08a3485b42f6d8822b8f6689.pdf

(4) http://www.itto.int/news_releases/id=2640000

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