Indonesian ambassador “proud” of FLEGT licensing first

15 December 2016

The Indonesian ambassador to the UK Rizal Sukma has said his country’s successful FLEGT-licensing of timber exports to the EU could be “the seeds for a global norm” in regulating and managing environmental challenges.

Mr Sukma was speaking at a Timber Trade Federation (TTF) organised event at London’s Building Centre on December 13 to celebrate Indonesia becoming the first country to successfully export FLEGT-licensed timber to the EU/UK.

“This signifies our determination to fight illegal logging and protect the environment,” said Mr Sukma.

“The acceptance of SVLK is one of the greatest achievements in UK-Indonesian co-operation.” The SVLK is Indonesian’s timber legality assurance system, a central component of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) process.

Julia Young, WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network UK manager, congratulated Indonesia and conveyed her appreciation to the UK timber trade for its interest in the whole FLEGT/timber legality agenda.

Andy Roby, a former FLEGT facilitator for the Indonesian VPA, said the successful delivery of FLEGT licensing in Indonesia was a great story to tell, with British investment in the FLEGT process starting back in 2001 and so far totalling about £40m.

“It was the work of the UK trade that made a difference because it had stopped buying Indonesian timber because it thought it was too risky [from a legality perspective],” said Mr Roby.

“Now we have 100% legal Indonesian timber coming into this country. That message the trade sent to Indonesia to stop buying, because of the concerns, was a very powerful message.”

The first FLEGT licensed timber shipment is due to arrive at Tilbury in January.

Indonesian Ambassador Rizal Sukma speaks at the FLEGT licensing celebration