The Borneo Initiative - boosting certified timber trade in Borneo
In early June, 2012, TBI celebrated its success at an event called Jakarta FSC Business Encounter 2012 – Boosting FSC Timber Trade. Attended by representatives from the Indonesian Ministries of Forestry, Economic Affairs, and Trade and at least 150-200 delegates from businesses, trade groups, donors and investors, the event profiled the Heart of Borneo as the natural place for government and business to support sustainability.
As part of the celebration for the evening TBI welcomed four new members, with 5 more on the books to join and 6 members receiving FSC certification. Speaking at the event, Dr Andi Novianto, Head of Indonesia’s Heart of Borneo Working Group welcomed the companies into the TBI family. He said he was especially pleased that five of the six FSC certificate recipients were operating in the Heart of Borneo, as credible FSC schemes were critical in supporting the HoB initiative through sustainable forest management mechanisms. This he said, is what we call, “a green economy in action”.
According to Rizal Bukhari, the Director Office of TBI in Indonesia, the certification will motivate other companies to practice best management acts in sustainable forest management.
“This will also give international markets the reassurance that they are purchasing wood products from well managed forests,” he said.
The TBI event not only encouraged the inclusion of companies to participate in a responsible concession scheme, it also facilitated the creation of new links to connect Indonesian companies with international buyers, traders and retailers. Thirty international importers participated in a business ‘match-making’ event, with companies committed to certified timber production.
Producers came from a range of categories such as furniture, plywood, wood panels, construction wood, door/windows/flooring, and logs.
“The interest in this event signified that FSC certified wood enjoys a higher demand in global markets like Europe, USA, Australia and Japan,” said Mr Bukhari.
“The match making has provided the opportunity to meet the people behind these sustainable ventures, as well as other forest companies on their way to FSC certification,” he said.
The business encounter strengthened the positive image of organisations supporting the FSC scheme. WWF also facilitates natural forest concession companies through its Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) program. Others like The Nature Conservancy do so through the Responsible Asia Forestry & Trade (RAFT) Program, The Forest Trust (TFT), and The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) are few of the platforms that sustain well managed forest and avoid deforestation and forest degradation. TBI schedules twice annual new member signings, in January and June and is projecting to facilitate 8 million hectares toward certification process in 2017.