Two Community Forest in Java Has Passed LEI Certification Assessment
July 26, 2009 was a special day for two forest management units that manage two community forests in Central Java namely Argo Bancak in Lembeyan District, Magetan Regency and Wana Rejo Asri (WARAS) in Sambirejo District, Sragen. Both are located in Central Java, Indonesia.
After a long preparation to apply for the LEI certification assessment, the Decision Making Panel from PT Mutu Agung Lestari, a LEI accredited certification body, stated that both community forests have passed the LEI certification assessment on Community Based Forest Management (CBFM). The Panel stated that they are capable of managing their forests areas in a sustainable way.
Argo Bancak, a forest management unit that manages community forest of 600 hectares in 3 villages, while WARAS, a forest management unit that manages community forests of approximately 1,404 hectares in 8 villages. The community forests grow on the sites owned by the farmer members in their yards, fields, and forests.
The sites are dominated by Teak wood, Mahogany, Sengon and Acacia trees, with an annual log rate of 1,572 m3/year in Argo Bancak and 5,056 m3/year in Waras.
The achievement of both management units is also a result of hard work and commitments from the local stakeholders, such as local NGOs and local government. The preparation of the management units to apply for the LEI certification assessment was carried out by the local preparation team, collaborating with local NGO namely PERSEPSI, which supported by the Forestry Office of East Java and Central Java provinces, as well as Standardization and Environmental Center from the Ministry of Forestry.
The support was given as commitment as well as financial support for the preparation and assessment of LEI certification process. During the assessment process, the supporters followed the whole assessment processes starting from the site survey to decision making. Direct support from the wider parties particularly from the regional and central government (through the Ministry of Forestry, Pustandling) becomes the starting point to extend the areas of certified community forest to achieve sustainable forest and community welfare.
According to Mr. Tirsan Yusuf, the Head of Forestry Office in Magetan, the success of Argo Bancak in passing the LEI certification has encourage other parties to continuously implement sustainable community forest management system. As mentioned by Mr. Wakidi– the Head of Forestry Office in Sragen — the Forestry Office will continue to prepare other community forests for LEI certification assessment, as well as establishing collaboration with other parties for marketing. According to Mr. Bibit– the Chief of Waras and representative of Argo Bancak– at first, they did not expect their management units to be able to pass the LEI certification. Therefore, aside of feeling relieved and grateful, they feel that it is their responsibility now to preserve the community forest in their areas.
The success achieved by both community forest management units has expanded the total LEI certified community forest areas. More than 16,700 hectare of community and indigenous/traditional forest areas, managed by 8 (eight) community forest management units have obtained the LEI certificates of sustainable managed forest. The area distribution also expands, covering Central Java, DI Yogyakarta, West Kalimantan, and East Java provinces. Other community forests in other regencies in East Java, Central Java, Jogjakarta and West Java are preparing themselves to apply for the LEI certification process. The total sustainable forest managed by local community members will be expanding in the future.