International Seminar on December 2013

”Current Status and Challenges of Sustainable Forest Management in Borneo: Views from governments, private sectors, NGOs, and local communities

【Date】9-10th December 2013
【Venue】Inamori Fundation Memorial Building, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan


【Seminar’s Objective】
 This international seminar aims to discuss current status and issues of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in the island of Borneo. It gathers various stakeholders of SFM practitioners (timber production and trading companies), promoters (governments and NGOs) and researchers from Borneo and Japan. This seminar provides a useful opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with each other, which may provide practical solutions to some of the problems faced by the stakeholders.

 Borneo is the third largest island in the world, divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. It is one of the most biodiversity-rich places on earth.Commercial logging has been a major economic activity in Borneo, and Japan has been one of its major buyers. Today, most of the forests have become badly degraded due to decades of logging and recent development of monoculture plantations.

 In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) affirmed the importance of SFM, that targets not only commercial benefit, but also environmental consideration and community needs, as one of the essential elements of sustainable development. Forest certification systems were then initiated by environmental NGOs to promote SFM. As a result, a growing number of timber companies have integrated SFM and transaction of the products into their business strategies. Governments in timber producing and importing countries also began to support SFM.

 However, there are still two challenges of SFM in Borneo. One issue is the environmental and social verification of SFM. Does a current SFM scheme really serve the purposes of environmental protection and social benefit? How can the effectiveness of SFM be verified? The other issue is the dissemination of SFM practices in Borneo and that certified timbers have yet to make it big into the market despite the hard efforts in promoting SFM. What are the political, economic, and social factors affecting the current status of SFM in Borneo? What are the marketing problems in the consuming countries, such as Japan? How can the market be stimulated to encourage and demand for SFM practice in Borneo?

 This seminar hopes to generate discussion on future direction of SFM in Borneo and also to build a broad network of multiple stakeholders working on SFM activities across the borders.

For further information on the programs and access, please click here.
鮫島弘光 Hiromitsu Samejima (CSEAS, Kyoto University)
森下明子 Akiko Morishita (CSEAS, Kyoto University)

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