The Indonesian Forum on the Environment (WALHI) and the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) are reported to be rejecting a bid by some US purchasers to pursue certification standards in Indonesia.

The buyers want to certify some species and specific forest concessions as acceptable for logging, but WALHI and AMAN said forest stewardship principles are untenable where corruption and illegal logging are rampant and local people cannot manage their own land.

Their claims back a call by Indonesia’s environment minister for international efforts to curb demand for illegally harvested timber. Local efforts, he said, had failed because of corrupt officials turning a blind eye.

Three American companies have already announced they are halting all purchases of Indonesian pulp and wood.

Centex Homes, International Paper and Lanoga Corporation said there were no guarantees in place to ensure the pulp and wood did not come from endangered or illegally logged forests.

Meanwhile environmental group Rainforest Action Network has accused timber giant Georgia-Pacific and home improvement chain Home Depot of threatening the existence of indigenous communities in Indonesia.

It has called on the two companies to stop buying Indonesian wood and pulp “until the rights of indigenous people to their traditional lands are recognised and the Indonensian government agrees to stamp out illegal logging”.

RAN has also suggested that instead of buying Indonesian timbers, purchasers should switch to other species such as rubberwood, poplar, bamboo and rattan.