JAKARTA, INDONESIADAILY.CO.ID – In Japan and Europe, light wood has become a prima donna to be processed using technology and innovation into various products.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the development of sustainable light timber was signed by the Ministry of Trade through the Directorate General of National Export Development (Ditjen PEN) and Fairventures Worldwide. The MoU is a form of commitment from the Ministry of Trade in supporting innovation and creativity in the development of light wood, especially the sengon and jabon types. This MoU is also a step taken to capture the prospect of the light wood business becoming the world's prima donna in the future.

The signing of the MoU was carried out by Director General of PEN Didi Sumedi and CEO of Fairventures Worldwide Megan King, on Friday (22/4/2022). In addition to the MoU, the Ministry of Trade and Fairventures Worldwide also signed a Technical Arrangement (TA) to follow up on the MoU in detail.

Please note, Fairventures Worldwide (FVW) is a registered nongovernmental organization. The institution has representatives in Indonesia and Uganda. In Indonesia FVW has a representative office in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. They are engaged in the environment and are the managers of the 100 Million Trees Planting Program in Central Kalimantan since 2014.

There, FVW representatives managed reforestation activities for more than 1,000 smallholder farmers in Kalimantan. Using digital technology, they help farmers measure the value of their forests and design better forest management. FVW works across the timber supply chain to connect farmers and buyers aimed at providing sustainable incomes for forest farmers.

So far, Fairventures Worldwide has focused on forest restoration activities through four approaches. Namely, increasing the capacity of smallholder farmers, forming farming communities that play a role in forest conservation, distributing free tropical wood tree seedlings to farmers, and building responsible supply chains.

In 2021, Indonesia's wood product exports were recorded at USD13.56 billion. That value is up 18.52 percent compared to 2020. The main export destinations for Indonesian wood products are China, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Australia, and Vietnam.

Exports of wood products and wood legality verification system (SVLK) products in 2021 were recorded at USD13.56 billion and Indonesia is in 12th position as the world's wood product distributor. Of the total exports, plywood (HS 4412) contributed USD2.5 billion and parquet and flooring wood products (HS 4409) amounted to USD714 billion.

In 2021, the world's total tropical timber trade reached USD196.4 billion. Meanwhile, tropical forest timber production only reaches 2.6 billion cubic meters (m3). So that this potential market that has not been explored can be utilized by Indonesian wood exporters and producers.

Director General of PEN Didi Sumedi in his official statement said, light wood has become a prima donna to be processed using technology and innovation into various products that are very excellent and of high value in the world, especially Japan and countries in the European region. However, there are still not many consumers who know the uses of light wood.

Meanwhile, Indonesia, is one of the largest wooden barns in the world that has the potential to dominate the market by supplying light wood on an ongoing basis. It is also tailored to the tastes of consumers who want lightweight materials, flexible in their application, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.

Light wood has an advantage, that is, on average it can be harvested in a period of 4-7 years. This type of wood has a high economic value due to the fast planting time, so reforestation is easier and attracts interest to the world market.

Didi explained, through the signing of this MoU and TA, various activities will be carried out involving various stakeholders in Indonesia and abroad. These activities, among others, educate consumers about the benefits of light wood, not only as a superior product but also can support the welfare of farmers, environmentally friendly, and a source of export mainstay.

In addition, Didi also said that a lightwood innovation center will be formed and a training on utilizing light wood through various innovations will be formed. The Ministry of Trade and Fairventures Worldwide also agreed to promote SVLK in Europe.

There are 2000 sengon wood farmers to be fostered, with an area of 2000 ha of sengon plantations and spreading two million sengon seedlings. In realizing the MOU, the Ministry of Trade and Fairventures Worldwide collaborated with seven ministries and local governments.

As a tangible manifestation of this cooperation, Fairventures Worldwide will launch a pilot project in the form of a 70m2 light wood raw house which will be placed in the Central Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service Office. This modular will be built efficiently using a modular timber construction system which requires a maximum construction time of only three days.

It is this system that Fairventures Worldwide wants to introduce to farmers, producers, as well as relevant stakeholders. The goal is to increase awareness that light wood has a very high added value by diversifying diverse export products.

Director of Export Development Cooperation Ni Made Ayu Marthini in the official broadcast of the Ministry of Industry said, Indonesia has a good reputation in terms of wood exports that have been carried out for a long time, especially with the existence of SVLK which ensures that Indonesian wood products meet the aspects of sustainability, legal, and traceability.

Sengon and jabon wood are examples of light wood that has fulfilled these aspects and is able to play a role as carbon capture. This is in line with Indonesia's National Determined Contribution to reducing carbon emissions by 26 percent to 41 percent by 2030.

Through this collaboration, Fairventures Worldwide is expected to become one of the mouthpieces to voice the priority of the use of sustainable wood and become a promotional agent for Indonesian wood products that are SVLK certified, especially in the European market. "The issue of acceptance of SVLK, especially in the European region, is very important in encouraging the export of wood products.

The goal is to avoid discrimination with wood products from other countries, especially when compared to other commercial certifications, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)," said Made Ayu.

According to Made Ayu, given the excellent prospects for light wood so far, the Ministry of Trade cooperates with the Swiss Import Promotion Office (SIPPO) and the Netherlands Import Promotion Desk (IPD) for the development of light wood products and market intelligence in the Netherlands and Switzerland. (Eri Sutrisno/Ratna Nuraini/Elvira Inda Sari).

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