ITTO awards first grant to civil-society/private-sector partnership

10 June 2004, Yokohama, Japan

Forest in the concession area (Photo: E. Parker

A partnership between the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT), a non-governmental organization based in Switzerland, and PT Hutanindo, an Indonesian logging company, is the first beneficiary of an innovative small-grants program created by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

The grant of US$45,000 will be used by the TFT to train logging teams in the PT Hutanindo logging concession in reduced impact logging and to provide them with the technical support they need to improve forest management planning.

The overall aim of the partnership is to enable the PT Hutanindo operation to be certified as well managed – with benefits for the local community in terms of social infrastructure, training, employment and environmental conservation.

PT Hutanindo employs about 150 people at its concession site in Central Kalimantan. Its total annual allowable cut in 2004 is 67,400 m3 in a concession area of about 98,000 hectares.

The TFT is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization working with logging companies to improve logging standards and certify operations. TFT and PT Hutanindo started working together in 2003.

ITTO is offering grants to facilitate and support partnerships between timber producers and civil society organizations with a view to promoting progress towards sustainable forest management, certification and access to markets for tropical timber products. The initiative forms part of the Organization’s wider efforts to encourage sustainable forest management in the tropics and the trade of tropical timber products derived from sustainably managed forests.

In announcing the grant to the TFT, ITTO’s Executive Director, Manoel Sobral Filho, said he hoped it would stimulate other organizations to become involved in the initiative.

“ITTO’s civil-society/private-sector partnerships initiative is an opportunity for timber producers and civil-society organizations to work together to improve both the social and environmental sustainability of a harvesting operation and its profitability.

“I congratulate the TFT and PT Hutanindo in forming their partnership; I look forward to other organizations following their example.”

According to Hugh Blackett, the TFT’s regional coordinator, PT Hutanindo is very positive about the benefits of improving forest management.

"In all meetings with Hutanindo there has been a strong interest in improving management and achieving certification,” he said. “They have always been very open and transparent in our discussions and we now have agreed targets that will lead to significant changes, notably in improvement of logging practices. It has been an extremely positive process and it is very encouraging to find such partners to work with in Indonesia."

"It is Hutanindo's plan that we have forest operations certified to international standards in the shortest possible time,” says Hutanindo director Kahhin Lee. “This will be a challenge and it is tremendous to have the support of TFT and ITTO to help with this difficult process."

For more information contact: Mr Amha bin Buang, Assistant Director, Division of Economic Information and Market Intelligence,, or Hugh Blackett, TFT,