TEMPO.CO, Paris-Indonesia and China on Wednesday, December 2, discussed promotion of legal timber trade from Indonesia to enhance the two countries’ bilateral trade relations in the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP21 meeting in Paris.
“A working agreement with China to promote certified timber trade is of utmost importance because China is Indonesia’s most important trading partner, while some of Indonesia’s most significant exports to China are timber products,” said Dr. Putera Parthama, Director-General for Sustainable Forest Production Management of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
According to Putera, who led the Indonesian delegation, Indonesia has developed its own timber legality assurance system, known as SVLK, to complement law enforcement measures on illegal logging.
The Chinese delegation, led by Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, State Forestry Administration of China, Dr. Chunfeng Wang told the press after the meeting that China respects the SVLK system.
“With certified imported wood from Indonesia, China hopes it too can increase the wood products it exports to countries demanding green products,” he said.
Based on Timber Legality Information System figures, up to the end of November 2015, Indonesia’s export to China reached 4,2 million tonnes of timber worth some USD 2 billion.
Given the importance of China as Indonesia’s trading partner, Indonesia emphasized its expectation that China accepts SVLK as a required certification for all timber products imported by China.
“We hope this meeting will establish a road map between the two governments on the concrete steps towards timber legality assurance system for all timber products imported by China from Indonesia,” said Putera.
DEBRA YATIM (Paris)