Wed, 06 Oct 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Certification on timber and wood products sold overseas can eliminate the national wood producers’ concerns about being labeled companies that damage the environment. The certification can even increase the volume and value of wood exports to European countries.

“The certification can reduce illegal logging practices and can guarantee that a company will not be suddenly inspected by officials and non-governmental organizations will think twice before harassing them. Exports will definitely increase,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said in Jakarta yesterday.

The Forestry Industry Revitalization Agency (BRIK) handed the wood and timber legality certificate to three companies meeting the Timber Legality Assurance System requirement, namely PT Sinar Agung (Tangerang), PT Karya Guna Ekatama (Pasuruan), and PT Tanjung Timberindo Industry (Deli Serdang).

BRIK is an independent institution with the authority to approve wood exports. Before making the approval, BRIK will verify the company’s validity of licenses, the company’s existence, production activities and exports.

However, Hadi Daryanto, the Forestry Ministry’s secretary-general said increase in wood exports cannot yet be estimated because his office does not have the data. But at least, there now exists a government policy on certification aimed at cutting down illegal logging as well as illegal land clearances.

“Catching illegal loggers is an issue that will never end. Now we use the certification so that illegal loggers cannot sell timber overseas. Timber businessmen in the European Union are collaborating with us,” Hadi said.

BRIK executive director Zulfikar Adil estimated that export value increase will only be felt six months after the certification. This will facilitate the national companies in their timber and wood product exports so they can be accepted legally by the receiving country. “The market’s access will be bigger because our products will have to be certified first,” he said.