The first ever assessment of a group of medium sized forestry concessions in Indonesia was conducted from Jan 19 till 25, 2015 using both FSC® Standards and the NEPCon LegalSource™ standard. The assessment included field inspections of the group members PT BINA OVIVIPARI SEMESTA and PT KANDELIA ALAM, who manage mangrove forests in West Kalimantan. The assessment also evaluated the performance of the group manager, which is APCS (Asia Pacific Consulting Solutions), also known as PT Pandu Maha Wana. The FSC accredited certification body NEPCon prepared and conducted the assessment with a team of Indonesian and international auditors. A certification decision is expected within the next three months. The Borneo Initiative and WWF Indonesia have played a key role in co-financing the process and co-training the group members.
The two group members’ staff prepared very intensively leading up to the assessment, guided by their Managing Director Ir. Fairus Mulia, who has more than 35 years of international experience in managing forestry operations in mangrove ecosystems. The group manager, APCS, hopes that many more medium sized concessions will follow the example of PT BINA OVIVIPARI SEMESTA and PT KANDELIA ALAM and take advantage of the support provided through The Borneo Initiative and WWF Indonesia. With group certification most of the auditing will be conducted by the group manager’s internal audit team. It is expected that in future only a sample of group members will be audited by the external auditor NEPCon. This will reduce the costs of FSC certification, which is very relevant for medium sized forestry concessions in Indonesia. The FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council, founded in 1994, which has well recognized trademarks which give consumers the assurance that products carrying these trademarks derive from well managed forests or a mix of certified and controlled sources.
The assessment process is now in the stage of report writing, which will include a peer review and additional stakeholder consultation. Following the review of the report by the group members and group manager, a public summary of the report will be released. No public statement about obtaining FSC® certification can be made at this point of time, because all the requirements and procedures of NEPCon and FSC certification will have to be completed first. The detailed standards used during the assessment included the FSC standard for the Republic of Indonesia (FSC-STD-IDN-01-01-2013), the FSC standard for group entities in forest management groups (FSC-STD-30-005_V1), the FSC Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises (FSC-STD-30-010 V2), the NEPCon Chain of Custody Standard for Forest Management Enterprises (Version 1, September 2014) and the NEPCon LegalSource™ standard (Version 1, February 2013). Additional Advice Notes and Policies by the FSC were observed. The assessment included a well-attended public stakeholder consultation.