Certified by Control Union
Certification on April 29, 2012
Located in the geographic center of Borneo, PT Roda Mas and its sister company PT Kemakmuran Berkah Timber are the last upstream timber concessions on Indonesia’s largest river, the Mahakam. This is also the Dayak country where ancient traditions still feature strongly in day to day life.
Reaching the concession from the East Kalimantan town of Melak takes some seven hours by speedboat to Long Bagun. At this busy transfer point, supplies are loaded into long boats for the much more dangerous two hour run up the rapids of the Mahakam gorge to the log pond and base camp of PT Roda Mas.
Getting the logs down to the company’s industry in Samarinda is equally fraught with hazard. Logs are secured in small rafts for the perilous run down the rock strewn Mahakam gorge. Near Long Bangun, they are consolidated into much larger rafts for the long float down to the industry.
Roda Mas is one of three concessions located along the Mahakam River which provide the majority of the wood supply for the large plywood factory of Tirta Mahakam located near the provincial capital of Samarinda.
Tirta Mahakam produces a wide range of panel products but one of its specialties is floor base which is then manufactured into finished engineered flooring products at the company’s secondary industry located in Gresik, East Java.
Roda Mas has a long history of involvement with TFF from training and research in reduced impact logging to the establishment of chain-of-custody systems. In January 2010, Roda Mas joined The Borneo Initiative certification support program and with technical assistance and guidance from TFF, the company succeeded achieving full certification in April 2012.
The challenges on this long road to international recognition have been significant. The 69,620 hectare concession is located in three blocks along the upper reaches of the Mahakam River. Terrain conditions are challenging but were not they only barrier to certification. This part of Kalimantan is the heartland of the Dayak people who have occupied this wild but beautiful terrain for centuries. Finding an amicable accommodation with the local communities who practice shifting cultivation along the Mahakam and its tributaries, has played a huge role in the company’s certification success.
The success of Roda Mas in achieving the prestigious FSC certification for sustainable forest management, is a clear beacon to other concession that certification is achievable despite complex issues, challenging terrain, and pre-existing cultural prerogatives.
TFF takes pride in having contributed to this success and maintains a close working relationship with Roda Mas as it continues to improve its management in the heart of Borneo.