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Risk Score
49.8
Risk Profile
Medium Risk
Conflict State
No
Log Export Restriction
Yes
Other Timber Export Restrictions
Yes
Import Regulation
Yes
Legality Risks Click for details on legality risks

Indonesia is the first, and currently, only, country in the world with an operational Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing scheme. This means that the Government of Indonesia has made significant efforts to develop a mandatory national system to track and verify legality and control illegal timber, called the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), which was established in 2009. Indonesia began issuing FLEGT licenses on 15 November 2016. The SVLK covers 99 percent of the total concession area as of 2019. While Indonesia has put in place a national system to track and verify legality and control illegal timber imported into the country, corruption in Indonesia across the board, particularly at the local level, remains an issue that can undermine the system. Some early challenges should be expected given that this is a new system and the first such FLEGT licensing scheme operating globally.

In Europe, the SVLK has been recognized as meeting the standards set by the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) since November 2016 and EU and UK importers are no longer required to conduct due diligence checks on timber from Indonesia. While SVLK / FLEGT licensing denotes complete compliance with the EUTR for European importers, a FLEGT licence may not in and of itself guarantee compliance with timber import regulations in other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Lacey Act in the United States.

  • Much of the timber used in Indonesian-made wood products has been sourced domestically.
  • Indonesia has developed a mandatory system to verify the legality of timber production and trade called the SVLK.
  • Despite an operational SVLK, challenges remain with its full and effective functioning.
  • Government of Indonesia figures suggest enforcement action is growing rapidly but reportedly still lacks clout and consistency.
  • There are continued reports of illegal logging.
  • Imports have tended to come from relatively lower-risk sources, with some exceptions.

Read more by downloading the Indonesia Timber Legality Risk Dashboard here.

Latest Updates Click for latest news from Indonesia
July 15, 2022
  • A significant portion of orangutan habitat in Indonesia lies within corporate concessions, but industrial tree companies, like pulp and paper, don’t have strong enough safeguards and commitment to protect the critically endangered apes, a new report says.
  • According to the report by Aidenvironment, there are 6.22 million hectares (15.37 million acres) of orangutan habitat within corporate oil palm, logging, and industrial tree concessions.
  • Of the three types of concessions, industrial tree companies are the “key stakeholder” as they operate with much less transparency and scrutiny than the palm oil sector, Aidenvironment says.
More...
June 30, 2022
  • A World Bank-funded conservation project in Indonesia led to higher rates of deforestation after the project ended, a new study shows, serving as a cautionary tale about the risks of failing to sustain such initiatives over a long enough time period.
  • The payment for ecosystem services project was supposed to reward villages for halting deforestation and taking up sustainable livelihoods from 1996-2001.
  • In the years after the project ended, however, participating villages that had received the payments lost up to 26% more forest cover from 2000-2016 than non-participating villages, the study shows.
More...
May 20, 2022

 Indonesia will reimpose a domestic sales requirement on palm oil, the government said on Friday, a day after the world’s biggest producer of the key edible oil reversed a ban on its export.

President Joko Widodo’s government has made several reversals on palm oil policy since November. The late-April export ban, an attempt to control high domestic cooking oil prices, shocked global edible oil markets and angered farmers as their product prices fell.

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April 27, 2022

JAKARTA, April 27 (Reuters) – Indonesia widened the scope of its export ban on raw materials for cooking oil to include crude and refined palm oil, its chief economic minister said on Wednesday, leaving markets in shock over the latest policy reversal.

The announcement flipped the minister’s statement a day earlier, in which he had said the export ban would only cover refined, bleached, and deodorized palm olein.

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April 22, 2022

JAKARTA — Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, on Friday announced an export ban of the commodity amid a continuing cooking oil crisis in the country.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the ban on shipments of “raw materials for cooking oil and cooking oil” will take effect next Thursday for an indefinite period.

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March 28, 2022

A subsidiary of South Korean paper company Moorim has cleared natural forests a tenth the size of Seoul in Indonesia’s Papua region over the past six years, a new report alleges. The report, published by various NGOs, alleges that the cleared areas consisted of primary forests serving as a habitat for threatened species and a source of livelihood for Indigenous Papuans.

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March 18, 2022

An investigation by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) indicates that a palm oil company in Sumatra has been clearing forests illegally since at least 2016. The extent of the clearing by PT Nia Yulided Bersaudara (NYB), nearly two and a half times the size of New York City’s Central Park, makes it the top deforester among companies that have an oil palm concession in Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem.

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March 9, 2022

The water patrol police of Meranti Islands, Riau Province, arrested two illegal loggers found transporting 13 cubic meters of wood using a boat in the waters near Dedap Village, Tasik Putripuyu Sub-district, on Monday night.

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December 10, 2021

Police in Indonesia’s Riau Islands have reported a 280% increase in seizures of mangrove wood from would-be smugglers this year.

Police said much of the wood was cut from the main island of Batam, and destined for nearby Singapore and Malaysia.

Indonesia is targeting the rehabilitation of 630,000 hectares (1.55 million acres) of mangrove forests across the country by 2024.

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September 30, 2021

Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil grower, lets a three-year moratorium on new plantations lapse but says it won’t give new permits. Will the move weaken forest protection?

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September 29, 2021

A monitoring exercise by Indigenous peoples and local communities of Indonesia’s “certified legal” timber industry has found myriad violations.

The group reported, among other findings, logging companies cutting down trees outside their concessions, woodworking shops manipulating delivery records to obscure the origin of the wood, and exporters selling forged export eligibility certificates.

More...
May 24, 2022

A court filing reveals lucrative timber exports were a strong focus of forest-clearing by a part-Kiwi-owned firm operating in an area with substantial tropical rainforest in West Papua

Documents tabled in a New Zealand court case show how a Kiwi developer and a company which has cut down Papuan rainforest intend to make around $110 million from the timber to make floors and decks – in stark contrast to statements made in a recent Newsroom investigation.

Newsroom has secured the documentary evidence that lays out in detail how an Indonesian company linked to a New Zealand property developer intends to make close to A$100 million from clearing trees in an area of primary rainforest in Papua.

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Publications Click for publications related to Indonesia
While subsistence agriculture and logging still contribute to deforestation, commercial-scale agricultural expansion is now recognized as by far the single largest driver of deforestation worldwide and thus also of greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change. Several initiatives have quantified how much and where deforestation is driven by commercial agriculture, and even how much of this […]
Key Resources
Click here for a collection of Forest Trends publications related to IDAT Risk, including the full set of Timber Legality Risk Country Dashboards.
Methodology
Click here to download the Methodology which includes information on data sources, the methodology used to create risk indicators, and a glossary of key terms.
Timber Data Tool
Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.
Export Restrictions
Click here to download a database of forest policy export restrictions.