First community forests in Indonesia certifiedJakarta, Indonesia - On October 18th, 2004, the Indonesian Ecolabeling Institute (LEI) granted its first sustainable community-based forest management certificates to two Wonogiri community groups managing teak forests with the support of WWF and local NGOs. These first certifications have allowed LEI to field test and refine its new community forest management standard.
The certification covers an area of approximately 800 hectares of valuable teak and mahogany forest. Since July 2004, WWF has been collaborating with local NGOs, including ARuPA and PERSEPSI, to promote sustainable forest management and improve market access in Wonogiri through LEI's community-based forest certification system.
These pioneering certifications demonstrate that communities can achieve certification. The challenge now is to help the communities secure commercial and other benefits as a result of the certification. WWF and its partners are developing market links between the communities and a Dutch buyer, which has expressed strong interest in a long term partnership with the two communities, as well as Indonesian companies in Bali and Yogyakarta.
In mid-December 2004, WWF hosted a meeting about the progress of community teak certification in Java. Representatives of PERSEPSI, ARuPA and LEI agreed to start to expand their community certification programmes, particularly to other villages in Wonogiri, which have been encouraged by recent progress in the area. Accordingly, PERSEPSI is developing a plan to extend the program to cover up to 20,000 hectares of community forests in Java.
* Certification Systems in Indonesia
There are two systems that work together in Indonesia, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Indonesian Ecolabeling Institute (LEI).
Currently, under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two organisations, certification assessments for commercial forests must meet the criteria and indicators of both LEI and FSC as agreed in a joint certification protocol. WWF Indonesia had assisted LEI with the development of standards for its community certification programme.
For further information:
Kate Fuller, Communications Officer
WWF Asia-Pacific Forest Programme
Tel: +62 812 382 8011