Undername SVLK Versus SVLK Credibility
By : Teguh Iman Affandi
As a form of improving timber trade governance, Indonesia has implemented the Timber Legality Verification System (SVLK) since 2009. Then, the rate of deforestation decreased. However, the credibility of SVLK is facing new challenges. It is because of the practice of undername SVLK.
Wednesday – Thursday, 29 – 30 June 2022, Kaoem Telapak held a Focus Group Discussion entitled Identifying “Undername SVLK” Solutions for Strengthening the SVLK Implementation and Improving Timber Business Climate. The FGD, held in Semarang, invited various stakeholders in the timber sector.
In brief, Kaoem Telapak defines the practice of undername SVLK as the practice of timber business actors who export timber commodities using or on behalf of other companies that already have SVLK certificates.
“For example, if you have a wood business, if you want to export, you must have an SVLK certificate, but because of difficulties, you finally chose to borrow a certificate from another company so you can export,” said Aulia Baroroh, Campaigner for Kaoem Telapak.
SVLK is mandatory for wood entrepreneurs who want to export their commodities. Its function is to ensure the timber traded does not come from illegal logging activities and fulfils legal aspects. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry assesses that wood is legal if the origin of the wood, logging permits, systems and procedures for logging, transportation, and trade or transfer can be proven to have met all applicable legal requirements.
The increasing demand for wood commodities abroad has made the practice of undername SVLK difficult to resist. Kaoem Telapak found that many companies openly offer a service for Undername SVLK via online media. Eradication of this practice is difficult because not all service providers fall into the category of legal objects of the SVLK.
Aulia revealed that this practice has happened for a long time. There are many reasons why this practice exists. Information from Aulia stated that several factors were the unclear origin of the timber, administrative complexity, the high cost of the certification process, tight competition in the timber business, and corrupt mental officials who facilitated this practice.
The practice of undername SVLK flag can be an entry point for logs from illegal logging. In addition, this practice also makes the SVLK less credible. “As a result, it will seriously harm the credibility of the SVLK, which has become a timber management system that we are proud of,” said Aulia.
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