Forest Governance Needs to Improve, NGOs Say


DECEMBER 13, 2016

Jakarta. Despite reoccurring problems related to spatial planning and forest governance in Indonesia, there is optimism that these issues will be addressed next year.

According to Transparency International Indonesia, much still needs to be done to root out corruption in the forestry sector.

"The government's One Map and One Data initiatives are still not optimally implemented, so there is still a high potential for corruption in the sector," Rivan Prahasya, Transparency International Indonesia's department manager for land-based industries, said during a discussion on Tuesday (13/12).

He added that public access to information in the country's forestry sector is still lacking, which means that it will take long to improve forest governance.

"If the conditions do not change, corruption will still be prevalent in the coming years," Rivan said. He urged better transparency and accountability on provincial government levels.

Rivan expressed hope that government officials would be better held to account from next year, especially as questionable motives are still prevalent among many.

Joining the discussion, Aditya Bayunanda, leader of the World Wildlife Fund Indonesia's forest commodities market transformation program, said he believes forest governance is strongly promoted thanks to the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System, or SVLK.

With Indonesia shipping its first certified sustainable timber last month, Aditya sees a positive development for governance, in the hope that other sectors in the forest industry will follow suit.

"It's a good step for Indonesia, as monitoring and public access to information is already part of the system […] which is a push for legal timber in the domestic market," he said.

He added that the SVLK will lead to greater responsibility in the domestic market.

Against this background, the two parties hope that 2017 will be the year for implementation of forest governance, as well as proper law enforcement.