Saturday, 1 November 2008

New bylaw to monitor log products

New bylaw to monitor log products

Source: The Jakarta Post - October 31, 2008 By Tifa Asrianti, Jakarta

The City Council passed a tougher version of the city bylaw on forest product distribution Thursday to help tackle illegally logged timber trade in Jakarta. The bylaw gives Jakarta forestry officers authority to monitor forest products, councilor Ben VB Sitompul, who worked on the bylaw revision, said.

"The new bylaw will allow the officers to record forest product distribution so that we can have clear information on how many logs are coming in and out of Jakarta," Ben said.

The new bylaw replaces a 2005 bylaw that was overturned when the 2005 Forestry Ministry regulation on forest product distribution was amended in 2006. Under the amendment, timber businesses were given the authority to issue forest product certifications while forestry officers were denied the authority to monitor the products.

As a consequence, the quality of records on forest product distribution has been deteriorating and the source of the timber is not clear. Eight-five percent of forest products are processed wood, 12 percent are timber and 3 percent nonwood product.

During 2002 and 2005, processed wood supply reached 1.5 million cubic meters per year. The number has been declining with only 540,000 cubic meters recorded over the last 10 months. Timber supply, which was recorded at 2.7 million cubic meters between 2002 and 2005, dropped to only 143,000 cubic meters as recorded in the last 10 months.

The new bylaw will punish people who do not report their timber, with a maximum of three months' imprisonment and Rp 50 million (US$4,650) fines.

"We estimate that there are 411,000 cubic meters of illegal timber entering Jakarta every year. The timber enters the city through entry points at seaports and roads. The new bylaw should be able to close down illegal log distribution," Ben said. The city has many illegal docks for forest products, such as the fish port Muara Angke, local docks in Marunda area and in other northern coastal areas, he said.

Jakarta has four ports providing services for timber distribution: Sunda Kelapa, Tanjung Priok, Kali Baru and Marunda.The city administration plans to develop Marunda Port into a green bonded zone, Governor Fauzi Bowo said.

"We will provide gas-powered electricity for all ships docking at the port. Nowadays all ships use their own diesel-fueled generators, creating pollution," Fauzi said, after meeting representatives from Clinton Climate Initiatives on Thursday. The port will be designed and managed to save energy and reduce costs, he said. "If we design the port correctly, we will be able to save 20 percent of energy and costs from the loading and unloading process."

In the 2009 draft budget, the city administration has allocated Rp 411 billion to invest in Marunda, with Rp 16 billion from the divestment of six city-owned enterprises and Rp 395 billion from equity participation. City secretary Muhayat said the investment in Marunda was aimed at raising the administration's ownership from the 11.3 percent to 51 percent. The rest of the shares are owned by the central government.