Issues of Illegal Logging
Field Survey Report of Indonesia
In the G8 Summit Communiqué, announced at the Okinawa Summit Meeting in 2000, it was agreed that not only producer countries but also consumer countries should take measures to address illegal forest logging problems.
With this agreement, Japan began to examine what to do as initiatives at a private sector level, in addition to further strengthening of measure being implemented at a governmental level.
With this, the Japan Federation of Wood-Industry Associations, with support from the Forestry Agency of the Japanese government, established a committee to examine illegal logging problems, with members from timber industries, consumer groups, NGOs, researchers and others.
The objectives included seeking opinions about an international issue of illegal logging from wide range of stakeholders and to examine possible countermeasures against illegal logging and support programs.
Another objective was to seek possible countermeasures to be conducted by the Japanese timber distribution/processing industries and the feasibilities of such countermeasures.
The first committee meeting decided to dispatch investigation delegations to Indonesia and Russia with the recognition of importance of field survey. Indonesia and Russia are the countries that NGOs in producer countries have pointed out illegal logging as a major problem.
This paper summarizes the reports of the field investigation team dispatched to Indonesia in October 2001.
This paper includes the summary outcomes of opinions sought from stakeholders of illegal logging in Indonesia and outlines of field survey in Kalimantan.
It is very difficult to cover everything due to the limited days of investigation and varied situations in different regions in Indonesia that has wide area of land. Nevertheless, we believe that a substantial amount of information was obtained as a basis for timber industries and consumer groups in Japan to study their actions to combat the illegal logging issue.
1. Factors behind illegal logging
It is said that actual situations of illegal logging and illegal exporting are varied, different from one region to another. At the same time, driving forces behind illegal logging and illegal exporting are varied with many factors intermingled in a complicated manner.
There would be various ways to sort out these factors, but in this report, we, first, recognize that there are direct factors (increased incentives for illegal logging and illegal exporting) and indirect factors (supports for illegal logging and illegal exporting, decreased deterrent, background situation leading to direct factors) and sort out these factors by parties involved in illegal logging (local people, timber industries, governments and administrative bodies).
The direct factors include desires of timber processing plants and forest industries to obtain logs that are in short, in particular, cheap logs, and desires of local people to conduct operations and sales of illegal logging to get cash easily.
The indirect factors of support for illegal logging/illegal exporting and decreased deterrence include weakened law enforcement power of governments/authorities and confusion in forest administration. The following is summaries by each party involved.
(1) Local people
As mentioned, increased incentives include increased unemployed people, decreased incomes, deteriorated or lost agricultural production base due to natural disasters leading to illegal logging and illegal sales/exporting activities.
On the other hand, law enforcement of government and authorities has been weakened and some are trying to make profit out of confused forest administration.
Indirect factors to increase such incentives in the areas of increased unemployed people and decreased income include serious economic recession, stoppage of logging business and plants due to confusions in the society, and termination of logging business(expiration of concession).
As to enhanced regionalism (regional egoism) in resource utilization, rapid decentralization of authorities and democratization has led to confused interpretation of their concrete contents.
Now some have selfish understanding that they can claim and they can do whatever they want. In some cases, regional politicians, in order to get votes, advocated a commitment for election that stirred up such regional egoism.
The reasons behind such rapid decentralization of authorities and democratization include the necessity on the side of the central government to respond to the recommendations given by IMF in order to obtain funding.
On the local level, such reasons include reactions against development regime of Suharto dictatorship and repellence to the Java centralism and forest development policies that had not brought benefits to regions under the past regime.
At the same time, IMF recommendations have brought reforms in the system of issuing logging concessions. With this reform, now local residents are able to obtain HPHH(*).
In some cases, this has led to excessive regionalism (regional egoism) in resource utilization on the side of local people. Competition for concession has been surfaced.
Furthermore, some conduct logging outside the concession area by taking advantage of weakened law enforcement. Unstable forest administration policies as well as weakened law enforcement have accelerated the trend of gFirst take, take allh.
There has been an increase in illegal logging as part of clearing forests for agricultural land after illegal settlement.
The illegal settlement has been increasing because of increased unemployed people and decreased incomes due to serious economic recession, deterioration or lost of agricultural production base due to natural disasters, confused interpretation of decentralization of authorities and democratization due to their rapid pace and weakened law enforcement.
*Kinds of logging concessions
- HPH (concession for forest business): concession for large-scale logging operations. The maximum area per province is 100,000 ha and the maximum total area for entire Indonesia is 400,000 ha. This kind of concessions is obtained by logging companies or unions.
- HPHH (concession for taking forest products); obtained by local people
- IPK (rights to utilize timbers): For logging as part of leveling the areas upon large-scale forestation or plantation development. Obtained by private companies.
(2) Timber industries
behind increased incentives in this category include cheap prices of
illegal logs, shortage of logs due to structural reasons and log shortage
in the neighboring countries.
One of the background reasons behind increased incentives to obtain cheap illegal logs is serious economic recession caused by the currency crisis in Asia.
Companies with huge amount of debts have demanded the cost cut of log procurement. Furthermore, the IMF recommendation removed a ban on log exports, pushing the log price higher.
The reasons behind the log shortage include rapid expansion of plant capacities due to policy to foster forest industries, coupled with lagged expansion of supply side such as industrial forestation operations.
As a result, they have timber processing capacity that is several times larger than annual allowed logging capacity. In addition, a ban on log exports was lifted by the IMF recommendation, leading to further less logs in domestic distribution. How to procure logs is a serious problem.
Some plants import logs that they cannot procure at home from overseas markets. But the number of plants that rely on illegal logs is not small.
Furthermore, Malaysia and China import logs from Indonesia because of the shortage in their respective countries. It is said that they import substantial amount of logs illegally, and majority of logs illegally exported to these countries is illegally harvested.
(2) Government and authorities
On the side of government and authorities, drastic deterioration of law enforcement and confusion in forest administration due to rapid decentralization and democratization have led to decreased deterrence and increased supports for illegal logging and illegal exporting.
After Suharto resigned in May, 1998, politics and economy in Indonesia plunged into chaos. In order to get the situation under control, the IMF recommendations were issues and rapid reforms were carried out resolutely based on the recommendations. But they, in fact, just accelerated the confusion.
On the side of civil servants and politicians, such confusions, deteriorating economic recession and low wages have led to more and more corruptions.
In such a situation of substantially weakened law enforcement, a ban on log exports was lifted, leading to a confused situation in which exports of illegal logs and exports of legal logs co-exist.
As a result, it became further difficult to sort out and control illegal logs.
At the same time, initiatives for decentralization and democratization that were also conducted to respond to IMF recommendations resulted in confusions in forest administration.
For example, relevant laws, regulations and systems were not sufficiently arranged or , in some cases, contradictory to each other. And there were tag wars for power between central government and local governments, and State governments act arbitrarily (arbitrary issuance of logging concessions).
Furthermore, the IMF recommendations brought about reforms in issuance system of logging concessions (giving local people rights to conduct small-scaled logging operation) but forest and timber sections at the State governments to oversee the issuance of such concessions has been left behind, leading to insufficient examination of application forms and control in the field. And some information sources say that because of such situation, improper logging (widely defined as illegal logging) and logging outside the concessions have prevailed.
(4) Expansion cycle of illegal logging
And it is easy for local people to shift from small-scaled logging for their own use to expanded operation for sales.
Also, there are cases in which local people get into illegal logging gcompetitionh after seeing outsiders conducting illegal logging in their areas.
They think it is better to do logging for themselves rather than letting outsiders to cut and use the logs in their areas.
2. Forms of illegal logging (including excessive logging)
It is said that there are various groups of people and organizations that conduct illegal logging. Largely there are two groups.
One is a large-scaled group with logging companies, specialized companies and overseas companies. The other is a small-scaled group made of local people.
In reality, there are various combinations of these two groups and it is difficult to strictly make distinctions.
In the case of a large-scaled group, some say that strongmen in military and region, officials at the Ministry of Forestry and parliamentarians are also involved, making the problem further difficult to resolve.
Also, in the case of large-scaled illegal logging, many are armed, and in such cases, it is impossible for several officials to control even they watch the site of illegal logging and illegal exporting.
In the case involved by local people, there are various forms of illegal logging from traditional logging of native people to extract timbers necessary for their daily life, illegal logging conducted by local people who lost their job in economic recession or who lost production base due to natural disasters, illegal logging by those who try to take advantage of confusions in the process of democratization and decentralization, and local peoplefs illegal logging in opposition to outsiders who come to their land for logging.
And there are some cases in which people follow and obtain permission by customary laws (legal logging in terms of customary laws).
In thinking of people or groups who are doing illegal logging, we have to bear in mind that there are various types in the categories of glocal peopleh, and gcompaniesh.
In particular, there are many types in the category of glocal peopleh reflecting the current confusions in Indonesia. There are local people those who have lived a traditional life in the place, those who have lived there for long but changed their lifestyle, those who have come to the place in seeking a new place to live, and those who are living in the place for the time being to seek cash income by illegal logging operations.
Also in the category of gcompaniesh, some companies have a understanding of sustainable forest management but conduct illegal logging due to various reasons and other companies only aim at exploitive logging from the beginning. (In any case, some estimate that close to 90% of all logging companies are involved in illegal logging operations) It is, therefore, important to think of measures against illegal logging based on such diversity.
Also there are various ways of conducting illegal logging. It is said that in many cases groups or individuals that have no right to do logging operations encroach on national parts and other places ramin to conduct illegal logging of useful woods like urin and or encroach on forests by taking forest roads after legal logging (selective logging) was conducted.
As mentioned, there are illegal logging conducted as part of illegal settlement. And in the case of companies and individuals who own logging concessions, there are also various forms of illegal logging including excessive logging beyond annual allowed logging amount, logging in gno loggingh areas along rivers or steel slopes and logging outside their permitted areas.
Some of such logging are conducted intentionally and others are mistakenly conducted due to lack of well-developed maps.
Also there are cases in which logs are cut within the annual allowed logging amount but the logged amount is underreported in avoiding tax charges (logging that is not reported officially).
It is also said that in some cases companies make local people conduct illegal logging for them, and in other cases companies pretend not to notice illegal logging when they procure logs for their operations.
3. Forms of illegal exporting
In some cases logs are just smuggled as they are and in other cases logs are half-processed into timber products and then illegally exported.
Smuggled logs are transported to from Malaysia to China and half-finished products sometimes go as far as to the United States.
In some cases, timbers are exported with official certificates that are obtained by bribery (illegally logged legal logs). It is said that by exporting illegally, they avoid export taxes and obtain huge profits.
In recent years, organizational illegal exporting has increased along the national border to Malaysia. Some say that many of such illegal logs are brought into Sarawak and treated as legally logged timbers from forests in the state after paying bribe.
Some estimate that 50~80% of timbers transported to timber processing
plants in Sarawak are smuggled from Kalimantan.
4. Amount of logs illegally harvested and illegally exported
In nature, it is impossible to accurately grasp the amount of logs illegally harvested (including excessive logging).
Nevertheless, there are some estimates. For example, according to Mujadi AT (2000), in Indonesia, in 1997, approximately 8.65 million m3 of logs were consumed.
However, the official amount of logs harvested was about 3 million m3 and the usage of recycled paper was about 1.55 million m3 of log equivalence. The gap, about 4.1 million m3, is estimated to be illegal logging and logging that is not officially recorded. It is estimated that in 1998 approximately 5.7 million m3 of logs was illegally harvested.
These numbers far exceed the officially allowed harvest amount. In
1998, (officially allowed harvest was about 1.9 million m3) the gap
is as large as three times.
On the other hand, it is also difficult to accurately grasp the amount of illegally exported logs to Malaysia, China and other countries. However, we can get some estimates by calculating the gaps in official data published by the respective countries in bilateral trade statistics.
Take the example of log trades between China and Indonesia in 1999 based on the database of ITTO. Indonesia announced the official number of approximately 88,000 m3 and China said 580,000m3, leaving the gap of about 492,000m3. Likewise, as to Malaysia-Indonesia trade of logs, Indonesia said about 7,860m3 and Malaysia published the number of 578,390m3, leaving the gap of about 570,530m3.
Illegal logging and illegal exporting are not a new issue. However, due to drastic deterioration of law enforcement on the side of government and authorities and confusions in the society, amount of logs illegally hrvested is said to have drastically increased to the high level far exceeding the amount in the past.
5. Impacts of illegal logging and illegal exporting
At the same time, such activities impose great impacts on regional hydrology, increasing the damages of droughts and floods, deteriorating living environment of people living in downstream, causing huge damages to agriculture, and damaging ecology in downstream areas.
As to forest management, there is a concern that such activities would squeeze forestry companies that abide by laws and regulations and are engaged in sustainable forest management from the both sides of timber prices and resource procurement. It might cause moral hazard in forest management. This is applied also to overseas situations.
This means such activities in a country, in this case, Indonesia, would undermine initiatives and activities for sustainable forest management in the entire world.
In an economic sense, export taxes and other taxes are escaped, giving damages to the Indonesian national coffin and undermining their economic recovery.
And the presence of activities that are conducted illegally and making huge profits has worsened the confusions in societal order by collapsing rules of law and deteriorating public security.
6. Countermeasures against illegal logging and illegal exporting
(1) gComplex Pollutionh
The issue of illegal logging and illegal exporting in Indonesia is deeply and widely rooted. This is not a mere problem in forest sector. Rather, this is one outlet of various contradictions and confusions in the society.
The factors behind this problem range from political, economic and
regional aspects, including long existing political corruptions and
complicated political confusions brought about by the rapid process
of decentralization and democratization, failure in macro economic policies
such as excessive investment in timber processing industries without
due considerations of resource procurement and economic confusions,
repellence against conventional Java-centered approaches and illegal
settlement based on the custom of gfirst take, then you own ith.
These situations require wide views of the issue to hammer out effective measures, and there is no single measure to be implemented or improved to solve the problem. It is necessary that all relevant Ministries and authorities take part in a collaborative way to implement a set of various measures and apply such various options to each region and each situation in a flexible way.
Also, rather than just watching the situations by saying that it is complicated or difficult, it is important to make steady endeavors by taking whatever action and by starting simple measures in the first place.
The following section introduces the measures (drafts) discussed in the field as of October 2001.
(2) Various options as to countermeasures against illegal logging and
The biggest problem is deteriorated law enforcement. In order to improve law enforcement, it is required to improve leadership of central government within the overall scope of decentralization and democratization, adjust policies and approaches among Ministries and authorities, improve monitoring and law enforcement capacity of local governments, enhance moral to eliminated corruptions, increase wages and improve compensation and benefits, and secure transparency of forest administration.
In addition, it is discussed to establish a special judicial organization to handle cases and make court decisions promptly and secure reliability of judicial officials. (EU is already in the process of thinking of an aid program.)
On the political side, it is regarded important to enhance a sense of responsibility of the Indonesian government on illegal logging and illegal exporting.
They should demonstrate their decisive attitude at home as well as abroad by implementing national campaign, for example. The Indonesian government has been implementing measures by taking advantage of pressures from outside in the form of commitment to foreign aid agencies.
However, excessively strong pressures from outside might help opposition forces at home.
As measures to strengthen control organizations, several measures are discussed including making clear of organizations in charge (at central, province and state level) and their respective authorities, securing budgets and staff, establishing strong partnership among organizations in charge, judicial bodies, companies, media and NGOs, providing strong support to NGOs who tackle illegal logging issues and securing transparency of operations (such as establishment of independent third party organization and giving authorities to such bodies, dispatching staff to the field, and making collaborative control with NGOs compulsory).
b) Measures in forest and timber processing industries
@Reorganization of timber processing industries (such as plant closures)
In this sense, it is necessary to review the supply-demand balance of timbers and conduct structural reforms on both sides of supply and demand.
As a structural reform on the supply side, efforts could be made to increase supply by re-examining HTI (industrial forestation operation) and utilizing farmersf forestation. And on the demand side, measures to decrease timber demand by streamlining timber processing plants and renovating for efficient facilities and equipment are discussed.
At present, due to the currency crisis in Asia, all companies are struggling with large amount of debts and securing finances, making this approach effective. However, in order to take this approach, first of all, illegal logging and illegal exporting operations should be seized.
BReforms in logging concession issuance system
One idea is to add stricter conditions for operations to inhibit illegal
logging and illegal exporting. The other idea is to stop the current
logging concessions and require companies to obtain new concessions(with
stricter operation conditions).
@ The current guidelines for operations, TPTI (Indonesian way of selective logging), are sufficient for sustainable forest operation in terms of forestry techniques. Therefore, new operation conditions to be added center on closing the loopholes for illegal logging and illegal exporting and providing reverse incentives such as deprivation of logging concessions upon seizure of illegal logging and illegal exporting operations.
CMoratorium on timber production
However, they are concerned that forests are shrinking at an accelerated pace while people are discussing. This is why they propose an all-out ban on logging until measures are formulated.
There are heated criticisms saying that stoppage of timber production would bring about strong blows to local economies as well as national economy.
However, NGOs judge that such moratorium will make sustainable utilization of resources possible and bring benefits to local and national economies from the long-term perspective.
And it is expected that moratorium will force government and industries to focus their all efforts to hammer out measures and effective policies will be formulated in a short period of time.
c) Measures in relation to local people
In order to stop local people entering into the illegal logging and illegal exporting gindustriesh, it is important to disseminate information about adverse effects of illegal logging on local communities and forest ecology.
At the same time, in order to decrease the number of local people who depend on illegal logging and illegal exporting because of economic reasons including unemployment and decreased income, it is also necessary to develop alternative income sources in local communities.
In particular, if orders to go out are to be given to the people who
are conducting illegal settlement and illegal logging, alternative ways
of making life should be provided.
In order to decrease illegal logging and illegal exporting conducted by outside migrant workers and illegal logging and illegal exporting conducted by local people against such outsiders, and in order to supplement shortage of administrative capacities, the possibility has been discussed to ask local people to cooperate as local security.
To make it happen, information on adverse effects of illegal logging on their communities should be disseminated and some economic incentives should be given such as rights of ownership of land or rights to utilize and manage forests.
Such rights of ownership of land or rights to utilize and manage forests could form a legal basis for control. And it is also proposed to approve traditional extraction of timbers and logging that is glegal in terms of customary lawsh conducted by local people based on custom rights.
Such approval is expected to contribute to stabilization and recovery of orders. However, as to rights of ownership and approval of custom rights, the Indonesian government takes very careful approach since this touches a wide range of issues of land policies for the entire Indonesia.
Also the government has fear that such movement would lead to less governmental control and accelerate unsustainable utilization of forests.
On the other hand, granting rights for utilizing and managing forests is regarded to have relatively high feasibility since the Ministry of Forest itself could handle this. (It seems that part of custom rights would be approved with limits.)
d) Measures in relation to end-users
It is expected that information on supply-demand mechanism of timbers, timber trades and adverse effects of illegal logging be provided to end-users. And end-users are also expected to reject illegal logs and cooperate for blocking imports of illegally harvested logs in timber consumer countries. It is also expected to enhance awareness of end-users on effective use of resources.
Some of such activities have been already implemented by NGOs. It is proposed that environmental household account book to be created as a means for raising awareness so that consumers could see their environmental burdens of using illegal logs on natural environment and local communities in an understandable way.
As to rejecting illegal logs, it is required that certified logs to be used as much as possible. However, the number of certified companies is small at present. Therefore, it is urgent to set a platform for information exchange to link producers and consumers.
Intergovernmental discussions take time to reach agreements. On the other hand, such voluntary initiatives in private sectors can be started quickly. But it would take time to see the effectiveness of such initiatives.
e) Seizure and identification of illegal logs (timber certification,
To do this, it is necessary to have system to sort out legal logs and illegal logs quickly at low cost. However, this is not easy in present situations in which administrative capacities are deteriorated and there are so-called gtimber launderingh activities with faked certificates.
It is necessary to secure credibility and reliability of logging certificates and export certificates, to develop simplified manual to determine illegal logs in the field, to train staff, to develop indication system to show rights of ownership and rights of utilization in the field, to develop detection methods by using satellite and aerial information, to develop Log Tracking System, to secure transparency of forest administration and to manage production in a stricter way.
f) Measures against illegal exporting
As to measures against illegal exporting, discussions include development of moral norms at private companies, search of overseas companies involved in illegal exporting, diplomatic punitive measures, cooperative measures among governments concerned (including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong), a tentative ban on log exports as an emergency measure, strengthening police deployment to border areas where illegal exporting activities are prevailing, and direct control by the central government.
A tentative export ban on logs is one of the focal points among such discussions. The Ministry of Forestry proposes a tentative ban on log exports in order to strengthen control of illegal exporting (illegal logging).
They believe that a ban on log exports enables them to control all logs going beyond the national borders as illegal exporting, leading to less illegal logging.
At the same time, they expect that such decisive measures at borders would convey a strong message to their own country as well as international community including IMF.
On the other hand, economists and NGOs are doubtful of control capabilities of the government. And they also predict that such approach would only lead to smuggling of finished products processed from logs.
Therefore, they donft see much effectiveness of this approach to combat illegal exporting and illegal logging. They oppose to such approach in a fear that domestic log prices would be lowered by separating from international markets resulting in more incentives for illegal exporting and illegal logging.
Also, each region, depending on their respective geological and economical conditions, has different advantages and disadvantages of a ban on log exports. Such gaps among regions make discussion more difficult to reach consensus.
Under this background, the Ordinance from the Minister of Forestry, No. 127, was issued in April 2001, to impose a total ban on logging and trading of ramin timbers (main material for various kinds of furniture) at home and abroad.
In addition, in October 2001, a six-month ban on log exports was decided with signatures given by Minister of Forestry and Minister of Industries. This ban is in effect at present.
7. Points to keep in mind when formulating and implementing measures
(1) Various measures should be implemented as a set
As mentioned previously, illegal logging and illegal exporting have various factors intermingled in a complicated way and such activities are conducted in a variety of forms. It is, therefore, necessary to prepare a set of various measures and to implement them flexibly to accommodate actual situations in each locality.
And it is also important that all ministries and agencies concerned cooperate beyond their segmented authorities to address wide range of root causes of the issue.
At present, IDCF (Inter-ministerial liaison meeting for forests) does not function due to political fights. Its function should be restored as soon as possible.
On the side of illegal exporting, Minister of Forestry and Minister of Commerce and Industries issued a joint ordinance to tentatively ban log exports and the navy seizes illegal exporting activities based on the ordinance.
This is one of the cooperative approaches among concerned ministries and agencies. Further cooperation should be promoted in wider scope to address the fundamental cause of the problem.
(2) Significant influence of timber industries in Indonesia
Timber processing industries play an important role in the Indonesian society and economy because they are one of the major sources of foreign currency (total export amount as of 1999 was approximately 3.8 billion dollars) and they provide a large number of employment (approximately 4 million jobs including direct and indirect employees, supporting about 16 million people including their families) and massive investments have been already put (the total amount of investment is 28 billion dollars).
Therefore, due considerations should be given to securing national income and employment, safety of investment as well as stable supply of forest products when thinking of restructure.
The further worsening economic recession and accelerating uneasiness in a society, caused by drastic decrease in national income, increase in unemployment, investors fleeting from Indonesia and adverse effects on other industries, should be avoided.
To avoid such situations, it is necessary to apply not only closure of plant but also other options, such as decrease in production scale, re-arrangement of plant, and re-engineering, to be applied on a case-by-case basis.
In current Indonesia, it seems difficult to implement regulations or certification with very strict conditions.
As mentioned previously, it is difficult to enforce such regulations due to weakened law enforcement. And those who are to be regulated are more likely to seek loopholes when the regulations are too strict.
If regulations are too loose, they are not effective. However, certain
degree of looseness would be needed in order to make regulations feasible.
(4) Deterioration and decrease of forest resources
The deterioration and decrease of forests have been in progress. Some predict that with current pace of deterioration there would be no valuable tropical forests left in low-lying lands within 7 to 10 years.
Some estimate that low lying wetland forests will disappear by 2005 in Sumatra and by 2010 in Kalimantan. Given the significant influences of timber industries, careful discussions are needed. But at the same time, the remaining time is limited.
It is more important to take actions than to have thorough discussions. Some say that it is better to have some damages now than to lose everything later. Ideally, all forests should be preserved.
But in reality, it is difficult. Some say that there is no choice but to conserve only some of the important forests.
8. Expectation to Japan for cooperation
In the issue of illegal logging, gtimber demandh is one of the most important factors. Therefore, there is a high level of concerns to the market side in Japan, that is the leading timber importer country.
Some appreciate that emerging concerns in Japanese market side about illegal logging and illegal exporting issues would open the door to a new stage of the discussions.
However, some say that given the several years of active discussion in illegal logging and illegal exporting issues, it requires a substantial accumulation of information and spirit of cooperation to have discussion with them on an equal basis.
(1) Measures expected to take in Japan
@ Demands to the Indonesian government
Japan is the biggest aid provider to Indonesia and Japan is a leading timber product importer. This means that Japan can exert a great influence on the Indonesia government as well as forest and timber industries in the country.
Therefore, the Japanese government is expected to demand, in a decisive-- but not intervening domestic matters -- manner, the Indonesian government to control illegal logging and illegal exporting. In this case, strong opinions should be expressed from timber industries and consumers in Japan.
A Market campaigns
Consumers in Japan are expected to demonstrate their attitude to reject illegal timbers in a decisive manner. Given the effects of boycotting campaigns of timbers from Malaysian tropical forest in Europe and Canadian primary temperate forests in the world, boycotting campaigns conducted by consumers can have a great impact.
@@However, at present, the level of interest in this issue among Japanese consumers is quite low. In order to sustain concerns in Japanese consumers about deterioration of foreign forests far from them and timbers produced from such forests, it is necessary to give Japanese consumers sufficient understanding that this issue is closely related to global environmental issues and it would cause indirectly great impacts on our own lives. Efforts to actively disclose information to consumers in order to form public opinions should be continued.
At the same time, the importance of international cooperation in developing consumer movement should be taken into consideration. It is necessary to follow and determine the trends of consumer movement in countries concerned.
BJudgment of illegality
At issue is how to make judgment whether the log is illegal or not. Careful examination is needed because wrong approaches or methodologies would create unnecessary confusions in timber trades, damage stable supply-demand balance of timbers and undermine national interests in both of exporting and importing countries.
On the other hand, timber industries and consumers should have no objections to exclude timbers that are clearly illegal. Therefore, some say that firstly feasible ways to identify illegality should be established and agreed internationally.
One possibility is to use, as a criterion, certification given by gLembaga Ekolabel Indonesiah (the Indonesian Eco Label Association: implementing joint certification with FSC).
But there is some doubt as to its effectiveness since the number of certified companies is still small. The number of companies participating in this scheme might increase to a certain level in the near future, but this prediction has no assurance since the initiative just began.
Also, in order to produce real effectiveness, not only Japan, but all countries concerned should get involved at the same time. However, the level of concerns about this issue is widely varied from one country to another, imposing limitation to unified initiatives.
C Timber industries in Japan
At present, only a small number of people in timber industries are concerned about illegal logging issues. And fewer people could give specific explanation of the issue.
The majority of the people understand the issue on a knowledge level. This is why no active opinions are expressed as to illegal logging issues in Indonesia from timber industries in Japan.
As mentioned previously, in order to fill the gap in information and to raise the awareness level inside the industries, it is necessary to make utmost efforts to collect information and disclose the serious situations in Indonesia so that consumers and other demand sides of timbers could gain the understanding of the issue.
And in the earliest possible stage, roles to be played by the industries should be clearly defined and their own stance and policies should be announced both nationally and internationally.
(2) Supports to domestic activities in Indonesia
In Indonesia, various NGOs activities are reported partly because this issue of illegal logging has been actively discussed for years.
There are various organizations – some organizations are monitoring illegal logging and others are advocating tracking system.
There is no necessity for Japan to carry out its own activities in this field, but how to support such organizations active in the fields without infringing sovereignty of Indonesia deserves examination.
To date, various organizations and agencies have implemented international cooperation in the field of forests and forestry.
In addition to the conventional areas for cooperation, such as forestation, forest preservation and timber utilization, cooperation to combat illegal logging and illegal exporting should be actively promoted and implemented as a new area for cooperation. This should be applied to Japanese bilateral cooperation.
And at the same time, how to utilize NGOs who are already familiar with the fields should be examined as a means of cooperation.
These and other supports should be implemented under international cooperation scheme if they are to have effectiveness.