Over the past 50 years the Indonesian forestry industry has evolved from small, localized crafts and lumber businesses to an internationally competitive sector, according to “The Economic Contribution of Indonesia’s Forest-based Industries,” a report by consultants ITS Global.

The Indonesian forest industry has embraced SVLK, pledging 100-percent adherence. APP has further pledged that plantations operated by its largest pulpwood suppliers will be certified under Indonesia’s sustainable forest mandates by 2015. Suppliers are also expected to meet a voluntary LEI (the Indonesian Eco-labeling Institute) Sustainable Forest Management standard by 2020.

In April 2011 Indonesia and the European Union agreed on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. The VPAs are agreements between the EU and timber exporting countries to end illegal logging and ensure that timber and paper products imported into the EU are in compliance with the verification laws of the exporting country.

Under the VPA between the EU and Indonesia, SVLK is recognized as a credible control and verification system to guarantee the legality of timber from Indonesia. This VPA is expected to become operational in time for the introduction of the new European Timber Regulations (EUTR) in March 2013, under which import shipments of forest products must be verified as legal.

“It (the agreement) will ensure that Indonesia timber exports to the EU are in compliance with Indonesian legislation, thus providing an assurance to EU consumers that they are not purchasing products made from illegally harvested timber,” EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik said in a statement after the agreement was signed in Jakarta in May, 2012.