by Diana Parker for Mongabay.com
Flaws in the country’s system to verify legal wood products could have implications for trade with Europe, as new research suggests even certified companies in Indonesia may not be meeting EU standards
Indonesian civil society groups have called on their government to reform its legal timber certification system, pointing to widespread illegal practices among certified companies and an auditing system that is “almost impossible” for companies to fail.
The Anti Forest-Mafia Coalition, a group of Indonesian NGOs dedicated to improving forest governance, found evidence that companies certified under the country’s Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) had illegally cleared natural forests inside the habitats of protected species, in deep peat areas and even in forests zoned for conservation.
The group also found that several certified companies had been named as suspects for intentionally starting fires in their concessions in violation of Indonesian law.