RioPlus Business Focus: FSC and The Borneo Initiative

It is estimated that 80% of Indonesia’s carbon emissions are related to deforestation and related changes in land use.

Around 1.8 million hectares (ha) of Indonesia’s forests are lost every year, making the country accountable for an astonishing 14% of global forest loss.

In view of this crisis, and in recognition of the fact that investing in sustainable forest management through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to fight climate change, the Borneo Initiative was established in 2008 to support large-scale certification of Indonesian forests according to FSC and national (LEI) criteria.

It also creates market links between FSC certified Indonesian companies and European/US companies. To stimulate concessionaires to certify their forests The Borneo Initiative subsidizes up to 25 percent of the total costs that a concessionaire bears.

This is provided in the form of services and training by third party auditors and pre-selected consultants on high conservation values, environmental studies, social studies, and stakeholder consultations: all necessary steps to obtaining the FSC certificate.

From its European office The Borneo Initiative carries out market analyses, creates company partnerships and organises trade missions to Indonesia.

Prior to the start of The Borneo Initiative’s program in 2010 only five concessions in Indonesia were FSC certified.

Since then 26 forest concessions representing around 2.8 million hectares of natural forest have joined the program and are in the process of becoming FSC certified. Three have already achieved their FSC certification, while six are on course to achieving their certificates by 2012.

If projected growth continues The Borneo Initiative will have added by 2016 an extra 8 million hectares of FSC certified management: the biggest forest certification area in the tropics.

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