Indonesia’s Steps Toward Timber Standards

In the United States, we tend to take for granted that most of the materials we use in the construction/ design industries have been tested to meet certain standards therefore at least acknowledging that the building will continue to uphold specific criteria. In other countries, that is not always the case but more are striving to reach to same standards.

Recently, on March 20  in Jakarta, Indonesia, all major trade associations came together to increase their standards in timber production and the forestry industry.

They have launched a declaration outlining the eight practical steps required to be taken by the industry to achieve world-class timber production and trade standards with the implementation of the Wood Legality & Verification System (SVLK). This implementation will ensure that only wood products verified as legal will be used in market.

“This system ensures that wood products exported from the country are legal and traceable to verified points of origin. SVLK is designed to ensure that the industry will only receive and process timber from legal sources according to the regulations of Indonesia. The regulations cover aspects of licensing, harvesting, transporting and processing for the industry. SVLK is an important step in the effort to achieve full Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certification.”

Outlined in the eight steps to achieve work-class production level of timber is a list that the government will make an effort to follow. It includes assistance to small and medium sized companies to follow the standards, it engages all stakeholders, it works with foreign countries to promote legal wood products and it encourages a positive response for responsibility both locally and internationally.

SVLK is Indonesia’s certification program which began in 2009. These new steps are in collaboration with other Indonesian trade associations such as:

  • GPEI (Indonesian Exporters Association)
  • MPI (Indonesian Forest Community)
  • APHI (Association of Indonesian Forest Concessionaires)
  • APKINDO (The Indonesian Wood Panel Association)
  • ISWA (The Indonesia Sawmill & Woodworking Association)
  • APKI (The Indonesian Pulp & Paper Association)
  • ASMINDO (The Indonesian Furniture Industry & Handicraft Association)

All of these organizations and associations are working to make Indonesia’s timber industry meet international standards in the trade.

This is a step that is similar to the United States’ timber industry history. The Forest Service began in 1905 but the environmental movement didn’t occur until the 1970’s when everything changed. It 1993 there became a bigger demand of ecosystem management. And to this day there is still a local struggle to find a solution to all our issues with the forestry industry.

Indonesia is facing the same issues but it is good to see that set standards are definitely a called for norm in the industry.

“The Indonesian forestry sector is committed to demonstrating to the international community that this policy will be successfully implemented and enforced to secure a sustainable environment and industry for the future.”

As prices increase, this system of standardizing materials is a sure way to maintain exported and imported goods to all countries. Why would you pay to have a material shipped to you, when you can be sure to receive the same quality goods from a local dealer?

Resources: FAO, SVLK Declaration and Business Wire

Leave a Reply