TBI celebrates its third round of support agreementBy: Masayu Yulien Vinanda
Jakarta (19/01)-Marking its third round of support agreement, The Borneo Initiative (TBI) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four forest concessions, on Tuesday (18/01). It was a significant step for those four companies in achieving Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)’s sustainable forest management certification.
TBI’s Executive Member of The Board Jesse Kuijper, Representative of Directorate General of Forest Utilization, Ministry of Forestry, Iman Santosa, and Deputy Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Forest Businessmen (APHI) Nana Suparna led the MoU signing ceremony which took place in Grand Ball Room Hotel Indonesi Kempinski, Central Jakarta. CEO of WWF-Indonesia Dr Efransjah, Director Office Indonesia of TBI Rizal Bukhari, the four concessionaires, all TBI’s partcipants, and numbers of forest experts attended the event.
The third round support agrement was special since some new participants came from outside Borneo. Those four forest concessions signing the MoU were PT Wukirasari (116,320 ha) in West Kalimantan, PT Rizqi Kacida Reana (55,150 ha) in East Kalimantan, PT Salaki Summa Sejahtera, (48.420 ha) in West-Sumatra, and PT Mamberano Alasmandiri (677,310 ha) in Papua. The four concessionaires with their total area of nearly 900,000 hectares of forest concession have been ready and declared their commitment to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM) certifiication with the support from TBI.
“Certificate of SFM is not only the evidence that the concesionaires employ the principle of sustainability but also it is very useful in expanding market access and improving their bargaining position in negotiating prices in timber product market particularly in the international market,” Nana Suparna from APHI said.
Meanwhile Jesse Kuijper said that the efforts undertaken by TBI to accelerate sustainable forest management focused on three aspects. “First, TBI gives financial support for certification bodies and conducting social and environmental projects. Secondly, We built capacity, expand resources,as well as facilitate group discussion of those who want to share knowledge certification, and there will be also lesson-learned from the certified companies. Lastly, we are linking the market. We offer a promising sustainable timber market in Europe and the United States.”
After the MoU signing, two consessionaries from the first group shared their experiences leading the race of forest certification. They were Untung Iskandar, President Director of PT Belayan Timber and Narkata Rimba in East Kalimantan and IBW. Putra, Operation Director of PT Suka Jaya Makmur, in West Kalimantan.
“We would like to introduce our new system called mono-cables. We have been using it since 2009 suppported by The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID ) and the Indonesia Ministry of Forestry. We have been replacing tractor and using mono-cable to reduce damage caused by logging,” Untung said.
Besides supporting sustainable forest, this new method also cut down the production cost. The company now have 16 mono-cable machines and planed to increase the number to 25 or 30 this year.
Meanwhlile PT SJM shared their synergy with numbers of NGOs and donor institution. For instance, the High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) asessement with a team from The Nature Conservancy and Fauna & Flora International and a comprehensive orangutan census carried out by WWF wildlife experts.
“On January 2010, GFTN-Indonesia and team of experts from WWF conducted two-week research on orangutan nests inside PT SJM concession. There were 996 orang-utan nest found. It is estimated that there are 619-672 individuals live in the area,”Putra said.
The orang utan research will result in orang utan management plan as part of HCVF action toward the company’s effort to achieve FSC forest certification. The document will cover the collaborative efforts to protect both orang-utan nests and trees as the food source of orangutans, as well as ensure not to log in the area with high population of orang-utans and enforce the no-poaching activities within the concession area.