How it began

The Building and Borneo Campaign

In 2005 WWF, FSC Netherlands, Dutch housing associations and local authorities implemented the Building and Borneo Campaign. The key goal was to introduce a new chain-oriented approach.

Deforestation and forest degradation in Borneo – and elsewhere – can be countered by involving market forces as “agents of change”. Demand pulls supply, so when the Dutch building industry promotes the use of timber from well-managed forests, increasing demand for FSC timber will make it more attractive for forest owners and timber merchants to pursue sustainable management practices in their forests. They will receive immediate income from timber sales, and well-regulated logging will assure their income both now and for the future.

The Building and Borneo campaign was a major success: 46 Dutch housing corporations signed partnership agreements stating their commitment to use FSC timber in their new building and renovation activities in the coming five years. Together they planned to build 120,000 new homes with FSC timber.

The Jakarta Conference 2007

The Jakarta Conference was organized in March 2007 in order to link market supply and demand more solidly. Dutch housing corporations, construction companies, FSC timber merchants, Indonesian forest concessionaires and timber dealers met in Jakarta. Suppliers were informed of the increasing demand for FSC timber in the Netherlands, and valuable business contacts were established.

The conference led to a number of encouraging and tangible results in the supply chain. In five cases, supported by an ever-increasing demand for FSC certified timber, concessionaires and the wood processing industry made products and production methods compliant with the demands of the European market. But these results were only the beginning.

In 2007 and 2008 the initiators of the Jakarta Conference – FSC Netherlands, WWF, and Dutch housing corporations – continued and intensified the campaign to use FSC timber from Borneo in the Dutch housing sector, by talking to the next partner in the chain: project developers. These stakeholders showed serious interest in developing and investing in a fund for the certification of concessions in Borneo.

The housing corporations and the housing project developers want to be assured of a sufficient supply of sustainably produced tropical timber, now and in the future. The Borneo Initiative was created to facilitate this process of certification of sustainable forest management.