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PT WBPU Commences Cruising Activities by Involving Indigenous Communities Around the Concession Area

PT Wana Bakti Persada Utama (WBPU) has begun carrying out cruising activities in the company's production forest concession area. cruising activity refers to surveying or mapping in a forest concession to evaluate existing timber potential. During cruising, the team conducts field surveys to identify the types of trees, size and quality of wood available in the designated forest area.

PT WBPU conducts its cruising activities in partnership with five traditional Indigenous and customary villages spread across the company's forest concession in the subdistrict of Kelay, in Berau Regency. The five villages are Kampung Long Lamcin, Kampung Long Pelay, Kampung Long Keluh, Kampung Long Duhung, and Kampung Long Beliu/Gie. Five teams participate in the cruising activities, with each team made up of nine members and one leader. All of them come from five villages. When scouting, the five teams map the timber potential in the concession area's 17 plots. PT WBPU's cruising activities began on October 17, 2023, and should be completed by the end of March 2024.

 

Wehea Kelay Forest

To reconcile conservation principles with economic imperatives, PT WBPU engages Indigenous communities in scouting activities to advance sustainable forest management while strengthening relations between the company and the nearby communities.

The participation of Indigenous communities in cruising activities plays a crucial role in harmonizing sustainable forestry and community engagement. Engaging Indigenous communities offers many benefits, including:

  1. Local Knowledge: Indigenous peoples have deep knowledge about forests and their ecosystems. This knowledge can be a valuable asset in determining and protecting sensitive areas involving indigenous communities in production forest concession areas.
  2. Cultural Conservation: Involving indigenous communities in scouting activities is a step towards honoring and preserving their cultural heritage. It also contributes to maintaining a harmonious relationship between people and nature.
  3. Economic Involvement: Involving Indigenous communities in cruising activities can also open up new economic opportunities for them. By learning from their surveys, community members can expand their knowledge of sustainably harnessing natural resources, as conducted by the company.

PT WBPU’s cruising activities consist of several steps designed to evaluate the timber potential in designated forest areas. The initial stage of scouting requires careful planning and includes determining locations, establishing survey methods, and scheduling activities.

 

Additionally, the cruising team will conduct terrestrial mapping, requiring direct surveys on the ground to identify tree species, forest conditions, and existing timber potential. They will note the locations of valuable trees and other environmental features. The activity also uses technology such as Global Positioning System and mapping software to enhance mapping and monitoring. These approaches help improve data accuracy and operational efficiency.

 

Next, the cruising team measures specific trees to determine dimensions, wood quality, and potential harvest volume. These measurements typically include tree diameter, tree height, and the quality of felled trees. The data will be analyzed to assess the forest's economic potential and determine appropriate management strategies. The latter involves mapping potential timber harvesting areas, estimating harvestable wood volume, and assessing environmental risks.

During cruising activities, it is also important to monitor possible environmental impacts, such as habitat damage or disturbance to local flora and fauna. Preventive steps are needed to minimize these adverse impacts, especially if Indigenous communities live in the forest area surveyed or the area has a high conservation value. It is important to consult with relevant parties, including local communities and government agencies, and to ensure that scouting activities are conducted sustainably and according to social justice principles.

Upon completing the cruising activity, a report is prepared that includes the survey results, data analysis, and recommendations ensuing forest management action. This report can inform decision-making by company management or relevant authorities.

 

The results obtained during cruising in a company production forest can vary depending on the survey's objectives, forest conditions, and methodology. Common results typically obtained from scouting activities include the following:

  1. Quantitative Data on Timber Potential: One of cruising 's main outcomes is quantitative data on the timber potential present in the surveyed forest. This data includes estimates of timber volume, dominant wood types, and the spatial distribution of valuable trees.
  2. Tree Location and Distribution Map: cruising outcomes include maps showing the location and distribution of valuable trees to use in further forest management planning and potential locations for harvesting or reforestation.
  3. Economic Analysis: BPT WBPU can use the data collected during cruising to conduct an economic evaluation of the potential benefits of using wood in the surveyed area. This information can assist with decisions related to allocating resources and future investments.
  4. Environmental Information: cruising activities also generate information about the forest area's environmental conditions, including the diversity of flora and fauna, ecosystem health, and the potential environmental impacts of wood extraction.
  5. Management Recommendations: Based on the analysis of the data obtained, the cruising activity generates recommendations for sustainable forest management. These may include suggestions regarding appropriate logging methods, forest restoration measures, or the need to implement conservation strategies.
  6. Information Base for Certification and Reporting: Data collected during cruising can inform certification and processes, such as the Sustainable Forest Management Certification and the Forest Stewardship Council and be used in reports to relevant authorities and stakeholders.
  7. Increased Knowledge: In addition to contributing tangible outcomes, cruising activities can enhance the survey teams’ knowledge and understanding of forest ecology, vegetation dynamics, and natural resource management.

 

Integrating cruising activities with Indigenous community participation contributes significantly to realizing sustainability in production forest management. By building a strong partnership between the company and Indigenous communities around its concession area, PT WBPU hopes to achieve a better balance between economic needs and environmental conservation. PT WBPU can use this approach to take concrete steps toward sustainable and inclusive forest management.

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