May 13, 2020

Minister, UK Ambassador hold virtual diplomacy meeting on SVLK

JAKARTA ( - A verbal note was recently sent by the Indonesian foreign ministry to the EU about the revocation of a trade ministry regulation that had eliminated the SVLK (timber legality assurance system), as reported by (May 12).

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has now provided a further update on the matter after holding a virtual diplomacy meeting with the UK Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN, and Timor Leste Owen Jenkins (May 13).

"Relevant updates and developments with regard to the SVLK are among the key issues I discussed with the UK Ambassador," Minister Nurbaya told in writing (May 13).

The minister pointed out that the partnership between the ministry and the UK is the longest standing of its forestry partnerships, adding “I agreed that we should step up our efforts to join forces with the UK, especially for climate change."

The minister also shared with the new trade ministry regulation which reenacts the SVLK. It can be downloaded here.

Legal certainty

In the virtual meeting with the UK Ambassador, Minister Nurbaya stressed that the government has decided that the elimination of the SVLK would not form part of relaxations in the trade sector.

"I also confirmed to the UK Ambassador that many associations, companies, and activists have expressed their support for the final decision from the government regarding the SVLK," she explained.

The new trade ministry regulation clearly states the consideration underlying the revoking of the prior trade ministry regulation which removed the SVLK as a mandatory condition for the export requirements of forestry products.

This consideration is that legal certainty is required to implement voluntary partnership agreements between Indonesia and the EU on forest law enforcement, management, and the trade of wood products to the EU, especially those related to the use of V-legal.

“This legal certainty is of paramount importance, as emphasized in President Joko Widodo's message,” Minister Nurbaya stated to conclude her written communication with