Roundtable discussion on the use of an online trading platform to increase market access of responsible
(i.e., legal and sustainable) timber products from Indonesia, and support the FLEGT Action Plan
September 2017 – The Indonesian Ecolabel Institute (LEI), Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) Indonesia, Landscape Indonesia, the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC), and BVRio Environmental Exchange convened a workshop on 18 September in Jakarta to explore how BVRio’s Responsible Timber Exchange platform can assist the Indonesian timber industry in promoting their responsible products in international markets. The meeting was attended by senior participants from government, industry, academia, and the civil society.
After a long development process, including the creation of the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK), Indonesia was the first country to fully achieve its VPA objectives and be authorized to issue FLEGT licenses. At the same time, organizations like LEI and FSC have been very active in promoting sustainability of forest enterprises and community forestry projects in Indonesia for a long time. IFCC have come to the market more recently and is also gaining momentum.While this is an important achievement, it is necessary to support the timber industry to maintain their engagement with the FLEGT Action Plan and to attract more companies to it. An essential part of this process is to assist companies in promoting their timber products in international markets, ensuring that the sector is rewarded for their efforts in adopting legality and sustainability standards across the sector. Timber trading volumes have not increased significantly after the issuance of FLEGT licenses, and a continued effort should be devoted to support those companies already engaged in the process. Better access to larger global markets is welcomed by the producers and exporters of responsible timber products.
Roundtable: Online Trading Platform for Legal and Sustainable Wood Products
The roundtable keynote speakers included Dr. IB Putera Parthama of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, who talked about the development of the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) and FLEGT licensing; Pak Herryadi of LEI, who talked about certification schemes; Herry Purnomo of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) who talked about the current state of the Indonesian timber trade; and Mauricio Moura Costa of BVRio, who gave a presentation explaining the role BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange could play in promoting Indonesian SVLK/FLEGT licensed, as well as other sustainable certification, timber products in international markets.
Key points from the discussions
- Certification schemes are costly to businesses and there needs to be tangible benefits from gaining certification. Promoting their timber products in international markets, which the Responsible Timber Exchange facilitates, can help ensure that the sector is rewarded for their efforts in adopting legality and sustainability standards.
- As well as SVLK/FLEGT licensing, there are several different certification schemes used in Indonesia (e.g. LEI, FSC, IFCC). It was positively noted that the Responsible Timber Exchange is suitable for buying and selling timber certified by any of these certification schemes.
- Community forest enterprises and smallholders often have difficulties accessing international markets, which can be overcome by using the Responsible Timber Exchange to promote their products.
BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange could play an essential role in promoting Indonesian SVLK/FLEGT licensed, as well as other sustainable certification, timber products in international markets, utilizing a wide range of e-commerce and digital marketing tools combined with direct engagement with timber traders in the EU, US and China. This will benefit from the progress already made by BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange elsewhere. Launched in November 2016, the Timber Exchange has received significant attention from timber traders worldwide. In less than 6 months of operation, the Exchange received over 900 timber trading requests, representing over 12 million m3 of timber products from all over the world.