On June 30, 2011, Control Union Certifications awarded the concession of PT. Belayan River Timber with full FSC certification. The company’s innovative use of low impact logging technology was, no doubt, an important factor in reaching this decision.
During the initial years of decentralization, chaos prevailed in the Indonesian forestry sector. District and Provincial Governments issued harvesting licenses, frequently in contradiction with permits issued by the central Ministry of Forests. The Government bowed to pressure from the IMF and World Bank to reopen the possibility of log exports. And illegal loggers took advantage of the resulting chaos to expand their activities throughout Indonesia.
Now that order has been restored, a potential benefit of those chaotic times has emerged in the form of a technical innovation pioneered by the illegal loggers. The innovation is a simple machine used for pulling logs along the ground through the forest, thus eliminating the need for skid trails from much of the area being logged. Local loggers call this the “monocable”.
It is a scaled up version of extraction equipment commonly used on small private European woodlots but it is manufactured in Samarinda from locally available components. More importantly, it offers great promise of achieve a number of objectives central to the goals of Reduced Impact Logging.
First of all, it is relatively inexpensive to operate. Experience to-date suggests that a felling and skidding costs of Rp.90,000/cu.m . is achievable for a skidding distances totaling up to 200 m.
Secondly, since the machine can winch itself into position and then pull logs to the machine from a distance of 100 meters for a maximum of two such set-ups per operating area, the need for skid trails are eliminated from this area thus dramatically reducing site disturbance, erosion risk, and impact to the residual stand.
Finally, by contracting out a portion of its annual cutting area (RKT) to community based private enterprises, the concession company has an opportunity to stimulate the development of small business and to offer a meaningful way in which local communities can participate in forest concession management thereby creating the basis for a more constructive relationship with its community neighbors.
PT Integra, the new owner of PT Belayan River Timber, is an integrated wood working industry located in Surabaya and specializes in finished and ‘knock down’ furniture, for both indoor and garden applications. The Intergra ownership has recognized a clearly defined demand for FSC certified Meranti housing components such as scantling, door frames and window frames in the European market. With the acquisition of the Belayan concession and the installation of an FSC dedicated wood processing facility at its Surabaya complex, Integra expects to capitalize on its new investment of providing high quality, FSC certified housing components to the European market.
TFF has provided RIL training and technical guidance for certification for Belayan River Timber under The Borneo Initiative certification support program and is pleased to congratulate the management and staff of Belayan for their proactive role in furthering the cause of reduced impact logging and forest certification.