satunusantaranews, Jakarta - According to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a sustainable forest management organization, there is no evidence of systematic forest fire by Korindo in 2018.
And FSC mentions that under Indonesian Law, companies have a responsibility to prevent and extinguish fires within their concessions. So the panel is only concerned that Korindo was not doing massive fire prevention when forest fire happened outside their established oil palm plantation areas, FSC said in its statement (20/11/2018).
Therefore, forest fire not part of follow-up discussion with Korindo yet.
FSC has also given Korindo several conditions in order to maintain their palm oil conglomerate certificate. In November 2019, FSC set five initial conditions, namely:
1) Implement a forest land clearing that applies to all operations (and commodities) in Indonesia
The moratorium includes the suspension of any forest conversion by Korindo Group. Moratorium will remain valid until all High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessment completed. This includes all stages of the reviews, such as peer review and quality review by regulatory bodies, and approved by HCV. This moratorium remains valid until today.
2) Refrain from any activities in HCV or HCS
After the HCV and HCS assessments were completed and approved by the HCV Resource Network (HCVRN), Korindo, along with the findings of the assessments, refrained from developing activities in areas identified as HCVs and/or as HCS areas.
Korindo must implement the necessary measures and actions to ensure the conservation, survival, and maintenance of beneficial biodiversity and environmental values (HCV and HCS).
3) Gradually reduce, and as of September 30, 2020, the use, purchase, trade, and liquidation of logs obtained from oil palm plantation development or other conversions as feedstock in all companies in the Korindo Group.
4) Work towards full FSC certification in the next four to five years for its forest concessions located in Kalimantan and Papua, Indonesia.
“Korindo will demonstrate its continued efforts towards this goal through the progress it has made and regularly,” the FSC stressed.
5) Progressively increase trade in FSC-controlled and certified materials in all wood and forest product production sectors including plywood and veneer.
6) undertake remedial processes to ensure social action has been and will continue to be fair and proportionate and subject to the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities in Papua and North Maluku.
Korindo is required to report its progress to the FSC three times a year and the company's progress will be validated annually by an independent third-party verifier.
According to the FSC, in July and September 2020, Korindo reported that it was making progress in achieving these goals. Some of these include implementing a continued moratorium on land clearing, phasing out the use of convertible wood in the supply chain by the end of September 2020, and working towards full FSC certification of 600,000 hectares of Indonesian forest by 31 December 2023.
Korindo is also said to have implemented a complaint mechanism for errors that occurred in 2020, which started a dialogue between Korindo and its stakeholders. The system is slated for strong peer review in 2021.
By appointment of an independent mediation party to support dialogue and conflict resolution with communities by the end of September 2020. Commitment to the implementation of free, prior and informed consent training by 2020, with an evaluation of its effectiveness planned for 2021.
"Korindo's progress reports will be validated by an independent third-party verifier during this process. This validation will be carried out once a year," the FSC said.
In addition, The Forest Steward Council (FSC) released the results of the investigation it had conducted since November 1, 2017. The FSC Board of Directors concluded that it was proven that the Korindo Group did not burn the forest and was not involved in any other illegal activities that use fire in the process of clearing its land as alleged so far. On this basis, the FSC decided to continue to make the Korindo Group its Member.
FSC, based in Bonn, Germany, stated that apart from not being proven to have burned forests, Korindo Group in carrying out its activities has shown its compliance in complying with the regulations set by the Indonesian Government.
“Korindo Group always has the good faith to collaborate and work together constructively not only with FSC but also with all stakeholders in implementing appropriate actions,” explained Yulian Mohammad Riza, Public Relations Manager of Korindo Group at the time.
In addition, Korindo Group also agreed to continue the moratorium that has been in place since February 21, 2017, he added. The implementation of this moratorium includes delaying the conversion of forested areas until an assessment of all High Conservation Values (HCV) and High Carbon Stocks (HCS) is completed (24/7/2019).
Highlighting social programs, during the investigation process, FSC also saw that Korindo Group had many social programs for the Papuan people, including building, managing, and even funding the operation of modern clinics located in the interior of Papua.
In addition, it also provided 19 clinics with free services, established 28 schools and provided 200 teachers and prepared several school buses, 66 places of worship, provided power plants for rural communities, built hundreds of kilometers of highways, and provided training on growing vegetables.