To accelerate the certification rate for sustainable forestry practises in Indonesia, a new community forest certification scheme has been developed by the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC), which was established in 2011. The program is called “Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification” (PEFC).
PEFC is an international non-profit organisation which promotes sustainable forest management through third-party certification. Because of its eco-label, customers as well as consumers are able to easily identify products sourced from sustainably managed forests. The certification program currently has 46 national governing bodies, which are organisations established to develop and implement PEFC within their country.
Certification of products by IFCC and PEFC is not obligatory, however, it will help any company that manufactures, processes, trades or sells timber-based products gain access to the global market as the certification guarantees that the products were responsible sourced and are able to be traced back to their origin.
To date, only a few major local companies in Indonesia have been PEFC certified, which include Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), which is part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group of companies which was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto.
In Indonesia roughly 1.8 million hectares of industrial plantation forest has been IFCC and PEFC certified and 24 local companies have been chain-of-custody-certified. Globally, over 300 million hectares of forests in total are certified to PEFC’s internationally recognized sustainability benchmarks, providing more than 18 000 chain-of-custody-certified companies across the world with responsibly and sustainably sourced wood and wood-based products.
Dradjad Wibowo, Chairman of IFCC , believes that Indonesian companies are starting to take note of the rising popularity of ethical consumption, and that the middle man is looking for assurances that the products they retail originate from sustainable forests without causing any harm to the environment.
PEFC chief executive Ben Gunnenberg, says that in able to manage the world’s decreasing forests, every company in the world needs to work together to create a sustainable livelihood. “Think global, but act local. Sustainable forestry cannot happen unless we can create a sustainable livelihood for everyone.”