The Indonesian Forest Concessionaires Association (APHI) calls on the European Union to jointly promote the Legality and Sustainability Verification System (SVLK) to further strengthen Indonesia’s efforts to improve forest governance in support of climate change action.
Chairman of APHI, Indroyono Soesilo said that Indonesia and the EU had a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and trade (FLEGT-VPA) since 2013.
Based on the partnership, the EU recognizes Indonesia’s legality and sustainability certificate (SLK) issued under the SVLK which is the only FLEGT license (FLEGT License) recognized to date.
Indroyono reminded that the EU has an obligation to promote FLEGT licenses in accordance with article 13 of the FLEGT VPA.
“Article 13 must be implemented to support the implementation of the FLEGT license,” he said during a meeting with the EU Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Piket at the APHI office, Jakarta, Thursday 30 June 2022.
The EU plus the UK is one of the main markets for Indonesian timber products worth US$1.1 billion in 2021.
For 2022, exports showed an increase of 20% month-to-month, where until May 2022 exports were recorded at US$539.3 million compared to US$450.4 million in 2021.
Despite being one of the main markets, exports of Indonesian timber products to the EU are actually still relatively small compared to the existing potential. Currently, the EU timber product market can reach US$51 billion per year.
“Indonesia needs support and cooperation to expand market share because Indonesia actually already has the SVLK which has been recognized as a FLEGT license,” said Indroyono.
On this occasion, Indroyono explained the achievements of improving forestry governance, especially in recent years under the administration of President Joko Widodo.
These achievements are the reduction in the area of forest and land fires (karhutla).
Based on data from the Forest and Land Fires Control Information System (Sipongi) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), the area of forest and land fires in 2019 was 1.6 million hectares. Forest and land fires decreased drastically in the following year to 296 thousand hectares (2020) and 358 thousand hectares (2021). For 2022 (until June), forest and land fires are recorded at 46,844 hectares
The rate of deforestation also continues to decline. In 2019-2020 the deforestation rate fell to 115 thousand hectares. It has decreased by 80% when compared to 2011 which was 613.5 thousand hectares.
In addition to these achievements, Indonesia also has a strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Forestry and Other Land Use (FOLU) sector as a global climate change action.
In the NDC (National Determined Contribution) document submitted to the UNFCCC, Indonesia targets to reduce GHG emissions by 29% with its own efforts or 41% with international support by 2030. Nearly 60% of the GHG emission reduction target comes from the forestry sector.
Indonesia has also committed to achieving FOLU Net Sink by 2030 as stated in the LTS-LCCR (Long Term Strategy on Low Carbon and Climate Resilience) document.
Based on this document, the FOLU sector is expected to be able to absorb GHG emissions of 140 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). At that time, the level of GHG absorption was already higher or equal to its emission (net sink).
Indroyono also invited the EU to invest in Indonesia’s forestry sector to support the achievement of NDC and FOLU Net Sink 2030.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Vincent Piket appreciated Indonesia’s FOLU Net Sink 2030.
“This policy shows the seriousness of the Indonesian government in efforts to reduce emissions,” he said.
Vincent Piket also explained that EU consumers’ awareness of green products that are environmentally friendly is getting stronger, therefore fulfilling the elements of legality and sustainability is important.
With the achievement of improving forestry governance in Indonesia, he hopes that more Indonesian products can compete in the EU market.
“I believe that the cooperation between the EU and Indonesia in the legal and sustainability aspects can continue to be improved,” he explained.
Regarding article 13, Ambassador Vincent Piket hopes that it can be one of the points of discussion that will be discussed at the high-level meeting of the EU and Indonesia in semester II/2022.
He also added that his party is ready to continue to work together in strengthening the implementation and promotion of SVLK.***