Image caption: Legal logging keeps more money circulating within the local community and helps develop local skills as it brings in investment from outside.
To combat illegal logging and make sure that every step of the timber production process is carried out with the highest regard for people and the environment requires a robust and transparent system that is embedded in legal compliance at every point of the supply chain. The process created by the Indonesian government is SVLK – Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu. In English, it means Timber Legality Assurance System.
The system has been produced through multi-stakeholder dialogue, which includes government, business, non-governmental organisations, labour organisations and local communities. The SLVK system comprises of five key interrelated components:
1) Legality. Producers must have all their land ownership documentation, environmental permits and administrative records in legal order.
2) Production. Businesses must have the capacity to adhere to the practices of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) throughout the production cycle, including forest fire prevention.
3) Environmental. The forest ecosystem, natural resources and biodiversity must be protected.
4) Social. Empowerment through capacity building, local communities are embedded within the system including ownership rights and access to resources and trade.
5) Certification. From January 2013 it became mandatory for wood panel, woodworking and pulp and paper industries to be compliant with the SVLK Indonesian certification scheme. Sawmill, furniture and handicraft businesses had until January 2014.
One of the key strengths of the SVLK is the oversight provided by independent monitoring and periodic evaluation. Non-Governmental Organisations are empowered to be able to critically and independently evaluate and verify adherence.