Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia (LEI)
In 1993 the Indonesian economy was not doing very well, growth was not as high as expected, oil prices had fallen since 1992. As usual, the Indonesian government likes to look into the forest when it is veiled by economic misfortune. Unfortunately at that time the reputation of Indonesia's forest management was also being highlighted. Massive deforestation, in line with the need to meet HTI development targets and to cover the need for raw materials for the plywood industry, makes other countries worry, fearing that the lungs of the world are running low. Moreover, the world also knows that forestry concessions are part of a conglomerate that smells of corruption, collusion and nepotism or KKN. Selling Indonesian forest products at that time was difficult. Indonesia's forests themselves are also threatened by excessive logging practices.
The Minister of Forestry at that time Mr. Djamaludin Surjohadikusumo was nervous. His responsibilities as Minister of Forestry demanded that he ensure that forests were managed sustainably, giving benefits to all parties, now and later. After various discussions and especially with the former Minister of the Environment, Prof. Emil Salim, an idea occurred to give a label or a sign for forest products that came from "good sources". Prof. Emil Salim stated that the institution that gave the label must be independent and trusted (credible). Pak Djamal supported this intention by facilitating the initial process of forming this institution. Of the several people involved, finally developed an Indonesian Ecolabel Working Group. This is the forerunner to the Indonesian Ecolabel Institute, or LEI. This all happened at the end of 1993.
The next trip gave birth to standards that explained the "good source". Working groups and teams give birth to criteria and indicators of good management that are fair and sustainable. It must guarantee justice for all parties: forest-dependent people, entrepreneurs, governments, laborers and all other parties. It must also be sustainable in terms of being able to continue to provide natural carrying capacity and be able to produce sustainably. These principles are then summarized in the criteria and indicators of fair and sustainable forest management. After being assessed, forest management units that pass will be given a certificate of fair and sustainable forest management.
In its development, LEI gave birth to certification standards for fair and sustainable natural forest management, fair and sustainable plantation forest management, fair and sustainable community-based forest management, and chain of custody certificates. The latter is used to ensure that wood originating from managed and sustainably managed areas can be traced to their origin, and can be distinguished from those from other sources.
This certification was given to respond to the demands of the time. Excessively logged forests - some illegally - and unfair benefits to all parties. The challenges in the form of excessive and illegal logging still exist today. In fact, the potential of our forests has dwindled so much that the challenges are becoming more threatening. LEI, according to the reasons for its establishment, must return its identity, providing solutions to the challenges of forestry management in Indonesia.
In fact, based on the LEI Congress and Rakerna decisions in 2005 the LEI mandate was expanded. He envisions "fighting for the management of natural resources that is fair and sustainable". This vision has been translated into various missions including developing a certification system for fair and sustainable natural resource management, promoting and supporting natural and equitable natural resource management policies, and encouraging models of natural resource management - including those carried out by indigenous peoples - to be fair and sustainable. LEI's identity is its vision, namely to fight for fair and sustainable management of natural resources.
Achieving a vision and carrying out a mission means holding fast to the goals ahead. But in reaching the final point of success, every challenge must be faced and resolved. The challenges to managing natural resources, especially forests, are still the same. Excessive harvesting occurs both legal and illegal. Because the initial design of the system offered by LEI is voluntary, incentives are an important factor in success. The current situation and current challenges are the factors that determine the strategies taken by LEI.See more