Certified timber exports from Indonesia have gone up nearly 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the Indonesian Forest Concessions Holders.
The volume of certified wood products shipped reached 17.46 million tonnes in 2016.
Robust trade activity is attributed to Indonesia’s FLEGT-VPA license secured last year. The country is the first in the world to be able to ship domestic timber without subjecting to stringent checks required by the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
In an interview with the Jarkata Globe, APHI executive director Purwadi said he is optimistic that export volume will grow in the next few years.
He said, "In 2006, our timber exports were valued at $8.46 trillion, in 2015 the number was $10.57 million, a growth of three percent."
Indonesia shipped its first FLEGT-VPA licensed timber to London and Antwerp in December last year.
The national sustainable forest management certification was launched in 2010. It saw an 89 percent rise in number of forestry participants, and 65 percent increase in number of industrial wood processing participants by 2012.
Earning the FLEGT-VPA and the SVLK licenses has helped Indonesia clamp down on illegal logging, corruption and poor forest governance, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
The ministry’s director general for sustainable forest management, Ida Bagus Putera, said Indonesia should make full use of the certification and licenses to give itself a head start in the EU market.
Elsewhere, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are also negotiating FLEGT licenses with the EU.
The EU ranks fourth, accounting for 11 percent of Indonesia's timber exports. China is the number one market, followed by Japan and USA.