Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

Rattan and Sustainability

ABOUT PGS


Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)

PGS is an appropriate quality assurance system initially for local stakeholders wishing to emphasize participation (between farmers, NGOs, local government, consumer, and other parties) and operating beyond the third-party certification framework. This system aims to give consumers confidence products from farmers and local producers fulfill standards. This system is often simpler and cheaper for farmers and local producers.

ROLES

ROLES stems from the Bahasa Indonesia words “Rotan Lestari” which mean “Sustainable Rotan” PGS ROLES is an Indonesian participatory certification system for sustainable rattan products which is implemented through a collaboration of institutions and customized to the local context. ROLEs is intended for rattan commodities that are marketed at local, regional, national, and international levels. The scope includes raw materials, semi-finished, and finished products. The PGS system is intended for producers (farmers and gatherers) and artisans, as well as industry stakeholders such as private companies.

ROLES consists of various important working elements such as the ROLES national council, secretariat, ROLES Provincial and District level units, rattan farmer groups, and rattan processors and artisans.

ROLES National Council

The highest organ in ROLES is the national council. This is a multi-stakeholder body consisting of committed people in realizing the vision and mission of ROLES. Members in the national council are from the government and research sector as well from civil society as well as from rattan associations. They are the ones responsible for the development of the overall scheme including standards and guidelines for sustainable rattan.

ROLES Secretariat

The ROLES Secretariat assists the council by preparing necessary information, safe-keeping documents and assisting the national council in its networking and education efforts. They are assisting to oversee operations and coordination with the various ROLES units across the countries. They also assist the national council in coordinating with other stakeholders.

ROLES Unit

The ROLES Unit is the implementing institution at the local level. This can be at the provincial level or the district level whatever seems to be the most practical and feasible for the situation and conditions. The main task of the ROLES Unit is to verify and monitor that the production process carried out by farmers and processors is according to sustainable rattan standards. The ROLES Unit is also composed of stakeholders from various sectors. They conduct orientations and trainings, and they compile the documentation for an audit process. They also have a roster of farmer peer inspectors that rotate in the conduct of peer inspections with other farmer groups.

Rattan farmer groups

The rattan farmer groups are responsible for the sustainable harvest, management and production of the rattan farms or rattan forests in the area. They will be the target of the audit. There is a clear list of farmers who agree to work collaboratively in ensuring the sustainability of the rattan that they harvest. They are also responsible for documenting rattan activities so that the origin and details of harvest can be traced.

Rattan processors

Groups or small industries that do the processing from rattan into semi-finished and finished products.


BASIC PRINCIPLES 


To promote the sustainability of rattan in Indonesia, ROLES applies these basic principles: 

  1. Relevance: The system is adapted to the characteristics of rattan products resulting from good forest management (without forests, there will never be any rattan), which is led by small producers, and small and medium scale processors. The guarantee system is aimed to increase sustainability impacts and reduce negative impacts. The system reflects indigenous and local understanding and scientific understanding that are relevant and relate to internationally recognized norms. 
  2. Participation: The system seeks to involve many parties in system design, implementation, and evaluation. Participation emphasizes the responsibility of the parties involved to ensure the integrity of the sustainability of products. Those who participate are all the parties that are interested in supporting farmers and small producers in providing evidence of the sustainability of their rattan products.  Producers are commonly an important stakeholder and sometimes concerned consumers are involved too. 
  3. Shared Vision: There is a common goal of the parties to establish the standard and ROLES operational system. This vision can include promoting local production systems, standards, social justice, fair trade, respect for ecosystems, local autonomy, and cultural diversity. The vision is realized in the mission, strategy, and ROLES development policy. 
  4. Transparency and Accessibility: The guarantee system that is built must be clear and recognized by all parties who are involved in how the ROLES system will be implemented: standards, norms (reference for guarantee process/fulfilment of criteria) and how the decisions are made. Transparency is important in the documentation system and public access on ROLES information. 
  5. Trust: The core value of ROLES is trust between farmer groups, gatherers, rattan processors, rattan artisans and small-scale industries of rattan products and their partners in the system that local producers are capable of producing sustainable and high quality products. ROLES is an expression or way to ensure that trust. 
  6. Horizontal Principle: ROLES is not a hierarchical system, but the structure is more democratic. The emphasis is on the responsibility by all parties. Horizontal mechanisms can be realized in role sharing/rotation, the involvement of farmers, gatherers and processors in guarantees and in transparent decision-making.
  7. Affordable: ROLES must be effective in cost, it means that producer groups can access ROLES services with an affordable cost. 
  8. Simple: ROLES mechanisms, procedures, and documentation is understandable and can be implemented by small producer groups. 
  9. Continuous Improvement : The guarantee system tries to see the effectiveness of the work system implementation and ROLEs standard on the desired impact. Periodically, the feedback for learning is captured and continous to innovate for improvement so that it is more beneficial to community and the environment. 

PARTNERS

PGS ROLES is an initiative with the involvement of the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme Indonesia (NTFP-EP-Indonesia) working with the Indonesian Organic Alliance (Aliansi Organis Indonesia -AOI), The Network of Traditional Knowledge in Indonesia (Jaringan Kearifan Tradisional Indonesia -JKTI), and Sejahtera Semesta Rakyat -SETARA. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has also been involved in the design and implementation of this initiative.

SITE LOCATIONS

Pepas Eheng Village, Barong Tongkok Sub District, Kutai Barat District, East Kalimantan Province (2015)

Bina Usaha Rotan is a rattan craft business that was established in 2008 in Kutai Barat, East Kalimantan. In 2012, in Pepas Ehang village a meeting was held with the local government to form the ROLES unit. Trainings were carried out, and the unit was formed in 2014. In 2015, data was collected from the members and the rattan gardens were checked and mapped. Farmers signed commitment forms to follow sustainable rattan standards and protocols. BUR was audited by peer inspectors and their marketing partner, Borneo Chic (BC), brought the certified products to a fair in the US.


Desa Namo, Kabupaten Sigi, Sulawesi Tengah (2016)

The ROLES secretariat assisted in orienting farmers in Namo Village about the benefits of the PGS ROLES system. They then formed the Namo Village ROLES Management Unit and Sigi District ROLEs Unit. Trials for harvesting and Chain of Custody (CoC) of sustainable rattan were carried out in Namo Village since early 2016 and a UK based company purchased their rattan at increased prices by 40%. The village had been previously awarded a Social Forestry Certificate called Hutan Desa but they did not how to make use of it in an economic sense until they joine the PGS ROLES system. Because the quality of the rattan improved when the farmers followed the standards, other local rattan manufacturers were also interested to buy their rattan and at good prices.


Desa Katingan, Kalimantan Tengah (2019)

In 2019, PT Van Der Sar (VDS) Import in the Netherlands signed an agreement with PGS ROLES to certify rattan in several Villages in the District of Katingan. ROLES conducted a survey to several Katingan Villages, and established a ROLES Unit. Rattan farmers were trained in 2019 and 2020. The pandemic that ensued slowed down the process very much, but audits were completed in 2021 and the certificate was granted in 2022.



GET INVOLVED


For Businesses


More and more, guarantees of sustainability in products drawn from natural resources is being demanded by buyers and consumers. 

Though there are various certification mechanisms that can be found in the market, not all follow the same principles and mechanisms. Some are also quite expensive and may be out of reach for some small and medium scale businesses, especially those just starting out. 

PGS ROLES offers traceability on various fronts. 

PGS ROLES traces the source of the rattan you are buying direct to the farmers and as it travels to the processing area and packing area before delivery. 

PGS ROLES looks at social factors such as fair-trade principles including compliance to labor laws, good working conditions and empowerment activities for the producers 

PGS ROLES also looks at business ethics to make sure that processes are clean and above board 

PGS ROLES uses experienced, all Indonesian auditors and inspectors to reduce the costs while keeping quality of the process high. 

PGS ROLES uses peer monitoring at the local level to continue monitoring even between national and provincial level inspections 


BECOME CERTIFIED

Inquiries and Application

  1. Send a letter to the PGS ROLES Secretariat at this email address:  info.indonesia@ntfp.org  
    An initial call will determine the parameters of your certification process and then the secretariat can also provide estimates of time and cost of certification. The secretariat can respond to questions you may have 
  2. The PGS ROLES Secretariat will send a self-assessment form and list of requirements 
  3. Upon completion of the form and list of requirements, the PGS ROLES Secretariat will check for any incomplete documents or clarifications. Some calls and discussions may be scheduled at this time 
  4. A draft contract on activities and costs to be covered will be prepared for the Business wishing to be certified 
  5. After signing and transfer of first payment then activities can begin 

Establishing the local PGS Units

  1. If there is no PGS Unit established at the Provincial or District level then one should be organized and capacitated 

The PGS unit is a muti-stakeholder body at the local level that a) promotes PGS at the local level, b) builds capacity of local level producers against compliance to PGS Standards, c) establishes and operates the audit and certification systems, d) trains and keeps roster of inspectos, e) has the repository of all original PGS data at the local level. PGS units can be a mix of government, civil society, producers, business and consumer representatives. 

Capacitating local farmers/gatherers

  1. Once or if the PGS Unit is established and capacitated, then the coordination with the local rattan farmers group will commence. The following will be done:
    • The farmers rattan farms or rattan forests will be checked and mapped 
    • Local permits will be checked/ obtained with local authorities 
    • Ownership/ Access rights over the forests/ lands will be checked 
    • The sustainable harvest practices will be reviewed and upgraded/ improved if necessary 
    • The farmers will be trained in documenting their harvests and other management practices 
    • Simulations of the audit process 

    Audit Process

  2. Audit process and schedule will then be communicated to the applicant 
    It is important that additional documents requested by PGS Secretariat be ready at this time 
  3. Depending on scope and distance of the sites to be audited, the inspectors and auditor will be chosen and will begin their audit and inspection processes. 
  4. Certificate
  5. The result of the audit and inspection process will be communicated to the local unit and national council. A documented result will be communicated to the buyer 
  6. A pre-certificate awarding online meeting will be organized so that the buyer understands the terms and conditions of the certificate 
  7. Certificate awarding will take place. This is a by invitation event open to other parties  

Sustainable Sourcing Program 

PGS ROLES Standards is an evolving and progressive process. It is segmented into 3 stratifications to allow businesses to improve while using the PGS ROLES label. The first stratification is the Book and Claim model which allows for self assessment and peer review of the compliance of the company of the PGS ROLES standards. In this category, companies may still be improving to meet the standard and only transitionary label is allowed for a specified period of time. The next stratifications allow for customized processes depending on market requirements. Mass balance process allows for at least 60% of the rattan sourced to be audited as sustainable sourced and the Full segregation model where sustainable rattan is segregated and most of the rattan is traceable to their origin. A discussion between the secretariat and the business can help the business better understand which stratification is most suitable, but once again the transitional stratification or Book and Claim is only allowable for an initial period and then if that period has lapsed and no sufficient completion of the standards for either Mass Balance or Segregated stratifications, then the business will lose its right to use the label.  

FOR PRODUCER 

Many producer groups practice a long tradition of sustainable NTFP management. These are based on traditional knowledge passed on from centuries of forest management. For some groups, these traditional practices are still strong and widely used, but for others some systems need to be repaired, improved and revitalized. The PGS ROLES System could assist in restoring or confirming these traditional practices. Some of these traditional practices or even conservation efforts of local producer groups go unnoticed. PGS ROLES gives them the benefit of recognition. 

BECOME CERTIFIED

Inquiries and Application

  1. The producer should, send a letter to the PGS ROLES Secretariat at this email address: info.indonesia@ntfp.org 
  2. An initial call will determine the parameters of the local producer’s certification process and then the secretariat can also provide estimates of time and cost of certification. The secretariat can respond to questions the producers may have. 
  3. The PGS ROLES Secretariat will send a self-assessment form and list of requirements 
    The producer should complete the self assessment and submit the set of requirements for review by the secretariat. 
  4. Upon completion of the form and list of requirements, the PGS ROLES Secretariat will check for any incomplete documents or clarifications.  
    Some calls and discussions may be scheduled at this time. 
  5. A draft contract on activities and costs to be covered will be prepared for the Producer wishing to be certified. 
  6. After signing and transfer of first payment then activities can begin 
  7. Establishing the local PGS Units

  8. If there is no PGS Unit established at the Provincial or District level then one should be organized and capacitated 
    The PGS unit is a muti-stakeholder body at the local level that a) promotes PGS at the local level, b) builds capacity of local level producers against compliance to PGS Standards, c) establishes and operates the audit and certification systems, d) trains and keeps roster of inspectos, e) has the repository of all original PGS data at the local level. PGS units can be a mix of government, civil society, producers, business and consumer representatives. 
  9. Capacitating local farmers/gatherers

  10. Once or if the PGS Unit is established and capacitated, then the coordination with the local rattan farmers group will commence. The following will be done:
    • The farmers rattan farms or rattan forests will be checked and mapped 
    • Local permits will be checked/ obtained with local authorities 
    • Ownership/ Access rights over the forests/ lands will be checked 
    • The sustainable harvest practices will be reviewed and upgraded/ improved if necessary 
    • The farmers will be trained in documenting their harvests and other management practices 
    • Simulations of the audit process 

    Audit Process

  11. Audit process and schedule will then be communicated to the applicant 
    It is important that additional documents requested by PGS Secretariat be ready at this time 
  12. Depending on scope and distance of the sites to be audited, the inspectors and auditor will be chosen and will begin their audit and inspection processes. 
  13. Certificate

  14. The result of the audit and inspection process will be communicated to the local unit and national council. A documented result will be communicated to the producer 
  15. A pre-certificate awarding online meeting will be organized so that the producer understands the terms and conditions of the certificate 
  16. Certificate awarding will take place. This is a by invitation event open to other parties  

Sustainable Sourcing Program 

PGS ROLES Standards is an evolving and progressive process. It is segmented into 3 stratifications to allow producers to improve while using the PGS ROLES label. The first stratification is the Book and Claim model which allows for self-assessment and peer review of the compliance of the company of the PGS ROLES standards. In this category, producers may still be improving to meet the standard and only transitionary label is allowed for a specified period of time. The next stratifications allow for customized processes depending on market requirements. Mass balance process allows for at least 60% of the rattan sourced to be audited as sustainable sourced and the Full segregation model where sustainable rattan is segregated and most of the rattan is traceable to their origin. A discussion between the secretariat and the business can help the business better understand which stratification is most suitable, but once again the transitional stratification or Book and Claim is only allowable for an initial period and then if that period has lapsed and no sufficient completion of the standards for either Mass Balance or Segregated stratifications, then the business producer lose its right to use the label.