The story behind this noteworthy achievement provides an outstanding case study of collaboration and determination. SJM, probably more than any other Indonesian forest concession, has received external assistance towards the goal of sustainable forest management. At the same time, it is clear that without the strong motivation of the ownership of this company, combined with a dedicated management and staff, the achievement of certification would not have been possible.
As a result of the successful RIL trials in SBK, SJM invited TFF to initiate a series of RIL trainings and operational trials which were implemented in 2003. This lead to the establishment of the first pilot project demonstrating the feasibility of ‘forest-to-market linking’. Under this TFF lead project, SJM demonstrated the market advantage of linking an independent audit of legality and chain-of-custody with the commitment to adopt RIL management practices, and benefited the company through direct access to the North American market and specific retail outlets.
In early 2008, TFF conducted a thorough baseline evaluation of the SJM operation against the FSC certification standard. This was made possible with funding from the WWF and eventually resulted in SJM joining the Global Forest and Trade Network.
Further RIL training inputs by TFF followed with funding support from the USAID Responsible Asia Forest & Trade (RAFT) project.
In May, 2009, TFF was awarded an ITTO grant under the Civil Society-Private Sector Partnership arrangement, to support SJM in moving towards forest certification. With solid external support from ITTO and the RAFT partnership fund, TFFs collaboration with SJM intensified and rapid progress was made in achieving a series of benchmarks on the road to certification.
It was also during this period that The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Flora & Fauna International (FFI), with facilitation through TFF, chose the SJM concession to conduct one of the first operational tests of the newly revised Indonesian toolkit for High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) assessment.
TFF support of SJM continued uninterrupted despite the completion of the ITTO grant. In early 2010, TFF represented SJM to The Borneo Initiative (TBI) certification support platform. Under this program, TFF was able to assist SJM through the final stages of certification leading to the achievement of the FSC recognition on June 30, 2011.
During this final year of intense activity leading up to certification, TFF facilitated an engagement with WWF for the purpose of conducting a census of the orangutan population that has been known to exist in the concession since long before SJM began operating in the area. The resulting data, along with the results of the HCVF assessment, was then integrated into a draft conservation management plan under the Orangutan Conservation Services Program, a support facility organized through close cooperation with TFF.
The SJM Industry
SJM is one of six forest management units belonging to the Alas Kusuma Group located in the border region between West and Central Kalimantan. SJMs industry consists of a plywood factory and sawmill located in the West Kalimantan town of Ketapang and is strongly orientated towards the Japanese market.