Green Groups Urge Law Enforcement to Support FLEGT Scheme

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Civil societies urged government to increase monitoring and law enforcement to support Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license implementation, which will lead to improve Indonesia’s forest management.

One way to monitor is following up violations reported by independent civil societies.

Muhamad Kosar, National Dinamisator of Independent Forestry Monitoring Network (JPIK), said that the network had sent a letter of request for an audience with minister of trade to discuss on the follow up of their report.

“However, we have yet to receive any respond on the request,” said Kosar, in Jakarta on Friday (20/5).

JPIK with Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) and Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) urged Minister of Trade to strongly commit on further investigation and law enforcement on companies indicated breaking the law.

Kosar added that the law enforcement was part of the upcoming FLEGT which marked voluntary agreement between Indonesian government and European Union.

“The investigation is not just revising regulations so government can ensure credibility and accountability of the system in the future,” he added.

Executive director of FWI, Christian Purba, said that forest management was not only about sufficient regulations but also monitoring.

“Ministry of Trade can collaborate with Ministry of Industry and Environment and Forestry to review all permits in wood processing industry, including non-producer exporters,” said Purba.

Previously, a joint press release between Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Industry stated government’s commitment to implement FLEGT license on May 12, in Jakarta.

The joint press release was aimed to speed up the full implementation of Wood Legality Verification System (SVLK) which previously being hindered by Ministry of Trade regulation No. 89/2015 on Forest Industry Product Requirement.

The regulation has been strengthened by Ministry of Trade regulation No. 25/2016.

Strong rejections on the regulations have pushed the ministry of trade to revise the regulation.

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo encouraged European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to immediately implement FLEGT license scheme to support legal and sustainable wood trade during is visit to Europe.

Hence, Indonesia had become the first nation to implement FLEGT License Scheme.

JPIK, FWI and EIA released a report, “Loopholes in Legality”, which revealed violations allegedly done by wood companies claimed as small-middle industries, CV V&V Logistic and CV Greenwood International located in Semarang of Central Java and CV Rejeki Trita Waskhita and CV Devi Fortuna located in Jepara of Central Java.

The report had already sent to Ministry of Trade.

Meanwhile, Nurlaila Nur Mahmud, Director of Forestry Export of Ministry of Trade, said that they were studying and assessing the report.

“Ministry of Trade will discuss and learn about the findings. We will need strong evidence to investigate on those findings,” said Mahmud.

Reports by Danny Kosasih