Indonesia to audit all timber operations to cut illegal logging
October 17, 2008
The Indonesian Forestry Ministry has announced a policy that requires timber companies to have their wood stocks audited to ensure the wood is derived from sustainably managed forests, reports The Jakarta Post. The measure is expected to curtail illegal logging in a country where a large proportion of timber is of illicit origin.
Unlike the current system where authorities only inspect documents (which can be forged) presented by forestry firms, the new initiative — known as the Wood Legality Verification System — will involved independent inspectors who will audit wood stocks throughout the supply chain, according to Hadi Pasaribu, the Forestry Ministry’s director general for the management of forestry production.
Indonesia hopes the system will reduce deforestation, increase treasury revenue, and open environmentally-conscious markets to Indonesian wood products. Proposed legislation in both Europe and the United States may soon restrict imports of illegally-sourced timber.
The Indonesian Forum of Environment (WALHI) estimates that some 2.8 million hectares of woods are illegally logged each year. Indonesia has the world’s second highest annual rate of forest loss after Brazil.
Government to audit forestry companies’ wood stocks. The Jakarta Post. Sept 12, 2008