Reforestation initiative on degraded lands in Sulawesi achieves international certification

PRESS RELEASE – Jakarta, 2 August 2017

FSC® certification was awarded on July 13, 2017 to PT. Forestry Ganda Utama for its management of PT. Gema Nusantara Jaya and PT. Gorontalo Citra Lestari, two forest plantation concessions in Gorontalo Province, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The concessions cover two neighbouring blocks of forest land with a combined area of 74,155 ha.

The certification award to PT. Forestry Ganda Utama is a milestone achievement for Indonesia’s forest sector, since PT. Forestry Ganda Utama is the first private company in Indonesia to establish plantation forests according to FSC guidelines. FSC is internationally considered to be the most challenging standard in forest management, offering certification of plantation forests only under very strict conditions, out of a global concern over the rate of deforestation of tropical rainforests. Previous certifications of forest plantations in Indonesia have been awarded to state forest plantation company Perum Perhutani (9 FSC certificates, 2,680,921 ha).

As stated by the company’s Assistant Director for Certification, Mr. Amin Suar: “We chose for FSC certification since this guarantees our clients that products from our concessions are from responsibly managed forest resources. FSC is well accepted in the world market. Our main challenge in following FSC guidelines was to assess the high conservation values, and to establish a planting regime with a different silvicultural approach for different forest areas in respect of the findings from the high conservation values assessment. Remaining natural forest has been left intact, while we apply strip planting in degraded forest zones and full plantation establishment on forest areas without any vegetation. We plant local (indigenous) tree species.”

The two companies will reforest 45,531 ha on formerly degraded forest land, while protecting 12,151 ha of remnant natural forest. An area of 16,473 ha is community use zone to the benefit of 40 communities (about 48,424 inhabitants). Planting is under way and will be completed in year 2022, while harvesting will start in year 2020 with an annual target volume of 200 cu.m./ha. Main species planted are White jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba) and Red jabon (Anthocephalus macrophyllus). Logs will be sent to the plywood production plant in Makassar, South Sulawesi operated by the Katingan Timber Celebes Group. This mill also gets its wood from one other FSC certified concession under the same holding, in the Moluccas, PT. Gema Hutani Lestari.

Via this reforestation effort, habitat is restored and protected for so-called ‘endemic’ wildlife species i.e. animals that occur only on Sulawesi or neighbouring islands, such as the Sulawesi bear cuscus (Ailurops ursinus), Small Sulawesi cuscus (Strigocuscus celebensis), Sulawesi tarsier (Tarsius tarsier), Sulawesi mountain tarsier (Tarsius pumilus), Gorontalo macaque (Macaca nigrescens), Sulawesi hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus), and the Knobbed hornbill (Aceros cassidix).

PT. Gema Nusantara Jaya and PT. Gorontalo Citra Lestari received financial support from The Borneo Initiative, while coaching and technical support were provided by the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF).

The Borneo Initiative is a non-governmental program that aims to counter forest degradation and forest loss in Indonesia via the promotion of responsible forest management, following the standard set by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). With this certification of PT. Forestry Ganda Utama, the 22nd and 23rd forest concession have achieved FSC certification with facilitation from The Borneo Initiative, bringing the total certified forest area supported by The Borneo Initiative to 2,160,255 ha. When including five Controlled Wood certificates (333,265 ha), then The Borneo Initiative has facilitated the certification of a total forest area of 2,483,420 ha.

As a country, Indonesia now has 37 FSC certificates with 2,717,051 ha certified forests, and 7 controlled wood certificates with 2,826,948 ha.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible forest management. Recognized by leading environmental organisations as the ‘gold standard’ in forestry, the prestigious FSC certification scheme ensures that forests are managed responsibly in a way that is ecologically appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.

Contact person: Mr. Amin Suar (Amin.suar@katingan.com) +62213854080.