Thursday, 31 March 2016
FSC Certification opens door to responsible Merbau for consumers
Forest Management certification for merbau in Indonesia
PT Wijaya Sentosa, a forest concession in the Indonesian region of Papua has recently become the first large scale forest operation to achieve FSC Forest Management certification for merbau, a tropical timber popular throughout Australia for use in decking, flooring and outdoor furniture. This will result in FSC Certified merbau becoming available to Australian and New Zealand consumers in Bunnings stores later in 2016.
The journey to certification has been supported by WWF-Indonesia, Dutch organization The Borneo Initiative, and PT Wijaya Sentosa’s major customer Bunnings. At 130,000 ha PT Wijaya Sentosa’s concession represents an important achievement in combating the issues of deforestation and illegal logging in the area. The FSC Forest Management certification for the premium merbau timber (Instia bijuga, Instia acuminate, and Instia palembanica) as well as a number of hardwood species, is the first of its scale and demonstrates that responsible management of vulnerable species is possible.
WWF-Australia’s Tim Cronin said "Wijaya Sentosa’s FSC achievement clearly illustrates the power of collaboration between suppliers and retailers to drive positive change though global supply chains. Sustainable forest management empowers communities whilst conserving biodiversity. It is yet another step giving consumers in Australia power to make the sustainable choice by choosing FSC."
Merbau is classified as a vulnerable species, its high value makes it a prime target for illegal logging and overexploitation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Both Greenpeace and WWF have produced in depth reports on areas of global forest most at risk of destruction, with WWF projecting that 7 million hectares of tropical rainforest and pristine ecosystems could be destroyed in New Guinea if current trends are not halted.
In this context of urgent need, PT Wijaya Sentosa’s achievement of FSC certification is a shining example of turning back the tide by shifting to responsible management of these precious forest areas. FSC certification ensures that the social, environmental and economic aspects of the forest are managed in harmony, producing overall positive outcomes for ecosystems, communities, workers, plants and animals.
There is also a strong economic incentive for forest managers to work towards achieving FSC’s high global standards. “It took strong determination to take all steps necessary to achieve FSC certification” explains Mr Sugijanto Soewadi, Director of PT Wijaya Sentosa, “but it helps us greatly to consolidate trade relations with our overseas buyers.“
As one of the main purchasers of PT Wijaya Sentosa’s merbau timber Bunnings was key to influencing their decision to work towards certification. Clive Duncan, Chief Operating Officer said “Bunnings has been committed to responsible timber sourcing for well over a decade. We understand our responsibility to ensure that communities where we source timber derive direct and long term benefit from well managed forestry operations.
Mr Duncan continued by saying that “Having worked closely with Sinar Wijaya for more than five years, we are extremely pleased to see the company recognised for global best practice. Their achievement of FSC merbau provides a great example for other companies to follow.”
Australian and New Zealand consumers now have the opportunity to choose a tropical hardwood and be confident they are not contributing to serious global issues of deforestation and illegal logging. Instead, they are supporting healthy forests around the world that support healthy communities.
Related information can be found here:
2. The Borneo Initiative
3. Global Forest Trade Network