The biggest forest concession in the Heart of Borneo joins GFTN Indonesia

Posted on 22 July 2011    
MOU signing with PT Essam Timber
© Dita Ramadhani
In a forestry business meeting held this May in Jakarta, PT Essam Timber, signed a Participation Agreement with WWF Indonesia and officially became a member of Indonesia’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN). This timber company, a subsidiary of the Indonesian-based Sumalindo group, has the biggest forest concession in the Heart of Borneo.

The cooperation with Essam Timber is considered to be a milestone for WWF, as this translates to a significant commitment towards sustainable forest management. With a combined concession area of almost 450,000 hectares in East Kalimantan, most of which sits near the boundary of the National Park, this group has real strategic value as a buffer zone that can protect important biodiversity and ecosystems.

MoU for timber assurance 

During the same meeting, WWF, under its GFTN purview, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sucofindo, a state survey company, making a commitment to conduct joint verification using a system called the Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS). This system is used to trace legal timber and ensure it is not mixed with illegal timber before exported.

GFTN will apply TLAS as a mandatory basic regulation for GFTN through a voluntary certification process. Recently, Indonesia and The European Union signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade to reduce illegal logging, log laundering and related international activities. This will include the implementation of TLAS on Indonesian timber trade and products, where around 50% of Indonesia timber is for export, 20% of which goes to the EU.

On the WWF/GFTN-Sucofindo cooperation, it is expected that joint verification will help improve forest governance, accelerating the achievement of sustainable forest management, and finally, the development of payments for environment services in production forest areas both at the policy level and in field operational activities.

With all these new developments, Essam Timber will be able to implement TLAS to guarantee the legality of their operational processes and products in adhering to responsible trade and best management practices. This ensures that the forests within its concession, a significant part of the Heart of Borneo, are well managed, and creates a guarantee that its products come from legal and sustainable timber harvests.

MOU signing with PT Essam Timber
© Dita Ramadhani Enlarge

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