The deforestation of the Indonesian Lowlands and Peat forests due to illegal logging is of large concern.
In a bid to fight the illegal logging, the European Commission proposed to extend the European Union (EU)’s Forestry Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license to Indonesia’s timber and forest products. The licensing became operational in November 2016 after the proposal was approved by the necessary parties.
Under the FLEGT licence, all products that are currently SVLK-certified automatically meet the EU timber regulations and no further due diligence will be needed to export the products to the EU. Importers and exporters that are FLEGT certified will gain a competitive edge over those that are not certified, as exporting their products will be more efficient and less costly.
Pulp and paper company Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, has SVLK certifications for its paper and pulp products, and is excited acknowledge the new approval of the FLEGT license.
As the EU is an important market for the APRIL group, a FLEGT licence will allow the April group to meet its growing customer demands in the market.
While certifying timber and forest products will help legitimate businesses to sell their products in the EU, it will unfortunately not deter those that are already logging illegally from continuing to do so.
APRIL and Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), which form part of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) group of companies founded by Mr Sukanto Tanoto, have teamed up with Fauna & Flora International, Bidara and The Nature Conservancy in 2013 to form Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) to protect and restore 150 000 hectares of deforested and degraded peat lands.
In a bid to dissuade illegal loggers, RER put together a Forest Protection Guard consisting of 8 young candidates in early 2016, whose duties include the prevention of:
- Forest encroachment.
- Illegal logging.
- Forest fires.
- Hunting of endangered or protected wildlife.
For more information on Sukanto Tanoto, APRIL Group or RER visit: