PT Wijaya Sentosa, a forest concession in the Indonesian region of Papua has recently become the first large scale forest operation in the world to achieve FSC Forest Management certification for merbau, a tropical timber popular for use in decking, flooring and outdoor furniture.
FSC Certification Opens Door to Responsible Merbau for Consumers (© PT Wijaya Sentosa)
The journey to certification was been supported by WWF-Indonesia, The Borneo Initiative, and PT Wijaya Sentosa’s major customer, Australian household hardware chain 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.”
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.
In this context, 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.”
Consumers – especially in Australia and New Zealand where Bunnings stores will offer FSC-certified merbau later in 2016 – 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.
Source: FSC International