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Intensive Silviculture Approach at PT WBPU as an Implementation of the RIL-C Method

Amid the increasing demand for timber resources, Indonesia’s forestry sector faces a major challenge, demanding innovation in forest management. One approach increasingly considered is intensive silviculture, a strategy that focuses on increasing forest productivity through greater use of techniques and human interventions. In countries rich in natural resources like Indonesia, where forests are economically and ecologically important assets, the implementation of intensive silviculture is becoming more attractive to timber production companies.

Intensive silviculture is a forest management approach that prioritizes active human intervention in increasing forestry productivity. The concept is founded on the idea that with proper management, tree growth can be enhanced significantly. Techniques often used in intensive silviculture have 3 main pillars: environmental improvisation, tree breeding, and pest and disease management, including planting trees more closely, selective pruning, fertilization, weed control and intensive maintenance.

In its effort to implement Reduced Impact Logging - Carbon (RIL-C), Indonesia’s production forest company PT Wana Bakti Persada Utama (PT WBPU) has also adopted intensive silviculture as a strategy for increasing wood productivity in the company's concession area. One of PT WBPU’s main objectives is to integrate forest conservation and production in a shorter timeframe. This integration not only benefits the company economically but also helps reduce pressure on older natural forests and vulnerable ecosystems.

Implementing intensive silviculture requires significant initial investment in infrastructure and labor. However, the investment delivers long-term benefits, as seen in the consistent and sustainable increase in wood yields. By controlling tree planting and genetic selection, companies can mitigate damage caused by logging activities and ultimately yield more wood per hectare.

PT WBPU hopes that by implementing intensive silviculture that focuses on ecological sustainability, the company will be able to maintain biodiversity in the forest. This approach may include maintaining habitat for sensitive and rare forest species. Additionally, by optimizing tree growth through intensive silviculture, forests will absorb more carbon, contributing significantly to climate change mitigation efforts and helping companies achieve carbon-neutral targets or become net carbon sinks.

From an economic perspective, by optimizing tree growth and forest productivity through intensive silviculture, PT WBPU aims to enhance its concession area’s productivity. This means the company can generate more timber and forest products per hectare of managed land. The approach is driven by the success stories of several production forestry companies already effectively using intensive silviculture practices to diversify revenue streams. In addition to timber products, PT WBPU may also generate future income from environmental services such as carbon and biodiversity conservation. 

Although intensive silviculture’s potential for enhancing forest productivity is significant, it faces several challenges. Intensive management demands sufficient resources and labor and a deep understanding of the local forest ecology. Additionally, paying close attention to the environmental impacts of human intervention becomes crucial.

Nevertheless, with continuing advances in technology and knowledge, intensive silviculture presents significant opportunities for Indonesia's production forestry companies. Using the right approach can achieve a balance between economic sustainability and forest conservation and preservation.

Intensive silviculture offers an appealing approach for Indonesian production forestry companies aiming to improve forest productivity. Applying the right strategy and careful management can maximize the potential of available wood without compromising the forest ecosystem's sustainability. To meet the demands of a continually evolving market, intensive silviculture offers a sustainable approach to Indonesia's future forestry industry.

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