Indonesia is one of the world's largest exporters of tropical timber, exporting a wide variety of products, including plywood, furniture, pulp and paper. Its main export markets are China, the EU, Japan and Korea (EFI).
Indonesia was the first country in Asia to enter into voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) negotiations with the EU, with negotiations beginning in March 2007. The VPA was signed in September 2013, and ratified in April 2014. Under the framework of the VPA, Indonesia has been developing a timber legality assurance system, which will be used for all commercial timber and timber products produced, processed and purchased in the country. The system will also cover all exports, both to the EU and to other importing countries (EFI).
Research carried out by Chatham House found that the levels of illegal logging have fallen markedly since 2000 and that forest governance has also improved over this period. However, illegal logging continues to pose a serious threat to the country’s forests, and implementation and enforcement of the law remain inadequate. The illegal clearance of forest for other land-uses is a significant problem. Progress in tackling illegal logging is hampered by persistent corruption, insufficient transparency of information and a poorly functioning decentralized governance system (Chatham House, 2014).