Tropical deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia is a serious concern of many stakeholders. About 16 million hectares of forestland in concessions is degraded. In addition, the lack of clarity of land tenure rights and ownership has given rise to significant conflict, which also contributes to unsustainable forest management. In response, domestic and international organizations have put considerable pressure on Indonesia to improve forest management policies and practices. In 1990, the first ever developing country certification was carried out in Indonesia, when SmartWood certified Perum Perhutani's teak forest operation on the island of Java. In response to this and other NGO pressure, the Government of Indonesia established its own forest certification scheme - Lembaga Ekolabel Indonesia - in 1993. In 1998, LEI was officially established as a foundation and since then has conducted several certification assessments. LEI and FSC have also developed a Joint Certification Protocol (JCP) that obliges FSC to use both LEI and FSC criteria and indicators when conducting an assessment of a forest management operation. Despite its early arrival, poor forest practices, ineffective government policies, and forest-related conflicts over indigenous peoples' land rights have hindered certification's development in Indonesia. While many challenges remain, a few positive effects of certification have been noted. These include the establishment of a government incentive for companies to pass LEI certification, an increased willingness of companies to engage in public consultation, and the opening up of political space for NGOs and communities to express their concerns.
Benjamin Cashore, Fred Gale, Errol Meidinger, and Deanna Newsom (eds.). 2006. Confronting sustainability: forest certification in developing and transitioning countries. 33-68