Formalizing the Logging Sector in Indonesia: Historical Dynamics and Lessons for Current Policy Initiatives

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This article reviews the Indonesian central government's efforts to regulate logging activities in historical perspective to draw lessons for the new timber legality verification system called SVLK. It shows that throughout history, illegal logging networks have been a fixture in Indonesia's forestry sector and that the involvement of local and national power holders has given logging activities a formal backing. The SVLK is expected to help improve forest governance, but since it is primarily an administrative tool there is a risk that preexisting trends and practices will continue. This underlines the need for anticorruption measures and independent monitoring to make the legality adherence system more robust and reliable.

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