Dr. Arief Effendy and Djarot Sri Hardono
Dr. Arief Effendy
is the Head of Sub-Directorate of Planning and
Forest Plantation, Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops of Indonesia.
On the other hand, Mr. Djarot Sri Hardono is a Senior Staff of Pt Musi
Hutan Persada and Chief of Timber Plantation, Division of Pt. Barito
Pacific Timber Tbk..
Natural forest in Indonesia covers around 144 million hectares. This includes 400 forest concessions, with an area of more than 50 million hectares.
The rate of forest degradation, one of the problems in Indonesia, is around 1.6 million hectares per year. This is caused by illegal logging, shifting cultivation, and forest fire. The total area of critical forestland or other logged over forest is around 27 million hectares.
Forest degradation will cause a deficit in the log supply to the wood processing industries.
To help solve the problem, a timber estate programme has been developed since 1983. During the period 1983-2000, Indonesia had 1.7 million hectares of timber plantation, controlled by 100 companies. About 14 million hectares of land will be converted to timber plantation over a ten-year period. The aim is to put priority on critical land, and achieve high production, and sustainability of forest production and the ecosystem.
Timber plantations supply three kinds of product: (i) pulp wood, (ii) construction wood, and (iii) fuelwood and minor forest products.
In this paper, the development of a plantation forest for timber production is described, based on a case study from Barito Pacific Timber Group. The purpose of the project is as follows:
One of the conclusions from the case study is that social conflict between forest companies and local people must be avoided. There are several ways of doing this, one of which is close cooperation with the local communities.
Natural forest resources in Indonesia cover around 144 million hectares, which is about 74% of the total area of the country. These include 64 million hectares of production forest, protection forest, and forest for recreation, hunting and ecological functions.
Forest management in Indonesia covers 400 forest concessions, with an area of more than 50 million hectares.
The problems of forest management are complicated and multidimensional. Forest degradation, as one of the problems in Indonesia, is around 1.6 million hectares per year. This is caused by illegal logging, shifting cultivation, and forest fire. The total area of critical forestland or other logged over forest is around 27 million hectares. On the other hand, the social function of forestland for indigenous people is of low value. The communities surrounding the forests have limited access to the forest companies.
The impact of forest degradation is a deficit log supply to industries amounting to about 30 million m3 per year, while the natural forest (wood) supply is only 22-26 million m3 per year. The illegal wood on the local market is reported at 32 million m3 per year.
To help solve the problem of Indonesian forest management, timber estate programme has been developed since 1983. The aim of the project is to put priority on critical forestland, achieve high production, and sustainability of forest production and the ecosystem.
a. To rehabilitate logged-over and degraded forests.
b. To produce logs for forest industries, so there will be added value, and foreign exchange.
c. To improve forest productivity and environment quality
d. To promote employment and business opportunities
e. Planting with people's participation, and contributing to rural development.
Timber plantation development in Indonesia has been prioritized for degraded forestland. About 14 millions hectares, of land will be converted to timber plantation over a ten year period.
Timber plantation objectives can be divided into three categories: (i) timber plantation for pulp wood, which mainly uses fast growing species such as Acacia spp, etc; (ii) timber plantation for construction wood, using species such as Tectona spp, Swietenia spp, Dalbergia spp, etc; and (iii) timber estate for fuelwood and minor forest products, using Calliandra spp, Leucaena spp, Acacia spp, Avicennia spp, etc.
During the period 1983-2000, Indonesia had 1.7 million hectares of timber plantation, controlled by 100 companies. The Ministry of Forestry reports that the private companies will develop timber plantations of around 8.2 million hectares.
Table 1. The Forest Companies in Indonesia
NUMBER OF COMPANIES
Very large scale
100,000 and up
Pulp wood product
Source : Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, 2000
a. The concession right for a timber plantation is allocated in an area that is designated as 'production forest', with the main objective of enhancing the production potential and quality of the forest.
b. The concession right covers the plantation establishment, maintenance, protection, harvesting, processing and marketing.
c. The maximum area of a concession for a single company is 100,000 ha in one province, and 400,000 ha in the whole country.
d. The concession right is awarded by the Government through auction.
e. A concession right may be awarded to :
f. The duration of the right is 35 years (maximum), plus one rotation .
g. At the end of each concession period, the right may be extended for the existing concession holder, if the management performance has been good
h. The concession holder must :
i. The concession right will be revoked if
a. Legal Administration
A company that needs a forest area for a timber plantation concession must prepare a feasibility study, environmental impact analysis and a working plan. They must also get forest concession approval from the Minister.
b. Forest Area Determination
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has the authority to determine forest areas as either state - controlled forest or private forest. The forest companies can operate on the forest area determined by Government.
c. Land Clearing and Land Preparation
Three methods of land preparation have been used: mechanical, manual and chemical. The choice of the method depends on the condition of the land.
1. Mechanical: The land is cleared by bulldozing. It is
then ploughed and disk harrowed. This is the method that is preferred on
grassland and light scrub, where the main weed is alang-alang.
2. Manual: Underbrush is cleared, and remaining trees are felled. Stems and branches are chopped up, and left to decompose as mulch.
3. Chemical: The herbicide glyphosate is sprayed to control alang - alang (Imperata cylindrica), in areas where the land is too steep for mechanical land preparation (slope > 10_).
d. Supply of Seeds and Preparation of Seedlings.
A supply of good seed is very important in the development of forest plantations. Only seed that is of the best genetic quality is appropriate for this kind of project.
For the early plantings, most of the seeds were collected from selected stands near Subanjeriji.
Some seeds were also imported from Australia and Papua New Guinea, to broaden the genetic base.
The company has now established its own seed stands, and is already self-sufficient in the supply of seeds.
In the early years of the project, seedlings were raised from seeds in simple nurseries that were widely distributed. These simple nurseries (flying nurseries) were used because road conditions were bad, and therefore transport was difficult, especially in the wet season when most of the planting is done.
Seeds were treated with hot water, and then germinated in sand in plastic trays. The seedlings were pricked out into soil in polybags. The polybags were laid out in beds on the ground, and were irrigated and given fertilizer by hand. After about eight weeks in the nursery, the seedlings were taken to the field, still inside the polybags.
Road conditions have improved, so the company now has seven modern nurseries, each with the capacity to produce 3 million seedlings in one cycle. In these nurseries, specially prepared medium, automatic irrigation, and standardized equipment and procedures are used. The seedlings are raised in semi-rigid plastic tubes, with side slits and active root-guidance, instead of polybags.
e. Planting and Maintenance
Planting begins in November, when the dry season is over and the soil is wet. Planting is finished by the end of March, so that the seedlings can become established before the dry season starts.
As soon as the land has been prepared it is lined, and each planting point is marked with a stick. The trees are planted at spacing of either 2 m x 4 m (1250 trees per hectare), or 3 m x 3 m (1111 trees per hectare), depending on the land conditions.
At each planting point a hole is made, fertilizer is mixed with soil in the bottom of the hole, and the seedling is planted. The fertilizers are TSP (70 g) and urea (30 g).
Fertilizer is applied only once, at the time of planting, as described above. Acacia mangium is able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, because of the presence on its roots of nodules that contain the nitrogen fixing bacterium Rhizobium. The Rhizobium is naturally occurring. The soil and the roots are not inoculated with cultured Rhizobium.
The planting distances, and the types and amounts of fertilizer, are still the subjects of research. Current operational procedures are based on a combination of experience and information from many sources, including trials.
Weeding is either done three times per year during the first two years, by hand or by the use of a slasher drawn by a tractor.
At the age of six months to nine months, the trees must be singled using secateurs. This is because Acacia mangium is naturally a multistem tree. It will sometimes grow as a single stem, but it will usually have two or three stems per tree. If it is not singled, the stem density might be as high as 4000 stems per hectare. The stems become tall and slender, with three undesirable consequences:
1. The stems are easily broken by rain or wind.
2. There is a higher incidence of Pink Disease, probably because the stems rub against one another, and the atmosphere inside the canopy is humid.
3. The taper of the stem is gradual, so it is likely that at the time of harvest a large fraction of the stem volume is above the height at which the diameter of the stem is at the minimum for merchantable wood.
It is important that singling is done at the right time, and using secateurs, not a bush knife. If singling is done too late, when the diameter of the stem is greater than 2 cm, there is a risk that the wound will not heal quickly enough and fungal disease will enter the wood. If a bush knife is used for singling, the bark of the main stem is easily damaged, and the stem that is cut is likely to split.
Wounds caused by bad singling can lead to heart rot. The wood is attacked by a fungus that causes the stem to become hollow. Acacia mangium is particularly susceptible to heart rot.
f. Protection Against Fire
During the dry season, there is a risk of fire. Fires may be started by farmers who are burning weeds, the fire can go out of control and run into neighboring forests. They may be started maliciously also.
Acacia mangium usually dies after a fire, because the bark at ground level is burned. Fires around Acacia mangium are ground fires, not crown fires, though the flames might reach into the crown.
PT Musi Hutan Persada has a fire protection programme, which includes the following :
1. Good relations with the local community, so that
people can be informed about the risks of fire, and the consequences of it.
2. Firebreaks, that are kept clean, to slow down the spread of fire if it starts.
3. Look-out towers that are manned 24 hours per day during the dry season, with fire fighting crews on standby, with equipment, and communications.
g. Monitoring of Growth and Yield
Permanent sampling plots (PSP) are established all over the planted area, when the trees are two years old, for the measurement of rate of growth.
There is one PSP for every 50 ha of plantation, and each PSP has an area of 0.05 ha. The stems are individually numbered, and their heights and diameters are measured once a year.
From the measurements, the volume of wood and the mean annual increment (MAI) can be calculated. Stem analysis is done, to find equations that can be used to calculate total volume, and merchantable volume, over bark and under bark, from measurements of height and diameter.
MAI is about 33 m3/ha/yr (total, over bark). This will increase as the quality of the planting material improves (because of the Tree Improvement programme), and with improvements in silvicultural practices.
h. Timber Harvesting
A pulp mill consumes 2,250,000 m3 of logs annually. Harvesting is done by a semi-mechanical logging system. Felling, de-branching, and bucking are done by chainsaw. Logs are extracted to the roadside by forwarder, and then taken to the mill on dual and tri-axle semi-trailer trucks, and some full-trailer trucks, that can carry 27-55 tonnes, equivalent to 35-70 m3. Loading and unloading at the temporary log yard, or roadside, are done using excavator loaders, and unloading at the log yard of the pulp mill is done by a Large Loader.
PT. Musi Hutan Persada (Barito Pacific Group) has a pulpwood supply agreement with PT. Tanjung Enim Lestari. This agreement which took effect from 1999 for a period of twenty years, specifies the volume to be delivered, the delivery schedule, the price, and the technical specification of the logs. The price is US $ 52.09 per bone dry tonne, with an allowance of 3 % annually for inflation.
The log specification is as follows :
Length : 2,2 - 3 meter
Diameter : 100 - 600 mm
Age : 6 -12 years
j. Research and Development
Every company in the plantation forestry business must do research. Research is not a luxury that can be afforded only when there is plenty of money. It is a necessity, and it becomes even more important when there is little money.
PT.Musi Hutan Persada has a Research Department made up from 11 sections as follows :
1. Tree Improvement
2. Nursery and Propagation
4. Pests and Diseases These sections do trials
5. Soil Survey and make surveys
6. Natural Forest Management
7. Wood Technology
8. Social and Environment
9. Technical Development 1 These sections provide technical
10. Technical Development 2 support for operational
11. Technical Development 3 staff in the Units
The activities of these sections can be described as follows :
j.1 The aims of the Tree Improvement section are as follows :
To increase the productivity of Acacia mangium
To improve the resistance of the trees to disease
To establish seed orchards and seed stands
To produce hybrids of Acacia mangium and Acacia auriculiformis
To look for other tree species that can be mixed with Acacia mangium in the pulping process.
To look for tree species that can provide lumber, or can be used as multipurpose trees.
There is a sub-section that specializes in the collecting and processing of seed.
j.2 Nursery and Propagation
The aims of this section are as follows :
To develop methods of vegetative propagation that can be
used in the multiplication of clonal planting material and hybrids.
To investigate methods and equipment that can be used in the nurseries.
The aim of this section is to investigate the following:
Land preparation Growth and yield (including stem
Planting methods Fire protection
Replanting methods Micro-organisms
Planting distances Agroforestry
Fertilizer Long term yield decline
Singling and thinning Mixed stands
Weed control Mulching
j.4 Pests and Diseases.
In the forest, there are many species of insects, fungi, and other organisms, but only a few of them damage the trees that can be regarded as pests.
When a single species of tree is grown on a large scale there is an increased risk that one of the few pest species will do a lot of damage.
The strategy in controlling pests is to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This means that as much as possible the natural enemies of the pests, and silvicultural practices, are used to control the pest populations.
But if silvicultural practices and natural enemies are not effective enough, then other methods might be used, including pesticides, or even cutting down the trees and burning them. The natural enemies of the pests are usually parasites, pathogens, and predators.
j.5 Soil Survey
A semi-detailed soil survey has been started over the whole of the project area. Later some areas might be re-surveyed, at the detailed level, if there is sufficient variation in soil conditions.
The results from the soil survey, together with weather records, will be used in matching the species, or the provenance, or the clone, to the site.
j.6 Natural Forest Management
The MHP concession area contains about 80,000 ha of conservation forest.
The company has recently started an investigation on management methods. The first step is to make an inventory of the species that are present, and to consider how the genetic diversity can be conserved.
j.7 Wood Technology
The activities in this section include:
Programmes have been started to improve the welfare and prosperity of the local people.
The company also maintains 80,000 hectares of conservation forest, where the flora and fauna, including endangered species, are protected.
In its plantation operations, the company follows the obligations that are described in the environmental management plan and environmental monitoring plan. As an example, the company is developing an erosion monitoring procedure, using silt load measurements in streamflow monitoring stations. As another example, forwarders are used, not skidders, to extract logs, to minimize soil compaction and soil erosion.
Prospects for timber plantation development and investment opportunities depend on the market for the product. According to the data of the Ministry of Trade and Industries for 7 commodities for export, plywood and sawntimber are decreasing at 2%-6% per year, but pulp product is increasing around 20% per year. This indicates that the forest product prospective is developing especially timber plantations for pulpwood product.
Timber plantation development is very risky and uncertain because it involves many people, it needs a lot of funding and it takes a long time to develop. Finding solutions to the problems has a high priority especially for large scale timber plantations.
Large-scale plantations need large areas of land, and the land must be available for a long period of time. In Indonesia, it is difficult to find large areas of land that are not being used, and where the availability of the land can be assured for a long period. Most of the people live in rural areas, and depend on farming, fishing, hunting, and other rural activities for their subsistence.
The activities of local people in and around the forest put pressure on forest land through shifting cultivation and fire.
Forest fire is a big problem in Indonesia, which, together with shifting cultivation and logging operations causes deforestation. FAO (1990) reports that deforestation in Indonesia is about 900,000 - 1.2 million hectares per year. In the last decade, this has increased to nearly 1.6 million hectares per year. Forest damage occurs not only in natural forests but also in plantation forest.
Generally, the tropical rain forest is a fragile ecosystem with soil of marginal quality.
4.1. Plantation forest development in Indonesia has many constraints. The investment risk in plantation forests can be attributed to the insecurity and high risk due to long-term land-use conflicts.
The development of plantation forest has requirements that are becoming more difficult to accomplish. For example, for pulp logs the area should be about 300,000 ha. This size is difficult to be achieved in the condition of "clean and clear".
Establishment size of plantation forest of 30,000 - 50,000 ha in a continuous area is also difficult due to community pressures on the forest land. These pressures create on-going conflicts.
Investors are not yet interested in the establishment of plantation forests for fuel wood due to low selling price and expensive production and transportation costs. In other words, revenues do not cover the total production costs.
On the other hand, investors for plantation forest should be encouraged in order to rehabilitate degraded bare land, create employment and sustain the environment.
Future trends such as exports of sawntimber and plywood have been decreased between 2 % - 6 %, whereas pulp export has been increased up to 20 %.
Therefore plantation forest establishment should be focused for pulp production, with beneficial output from 7 years rotation (short term), quick reinvestments and fast growth because of silvicultural system.
Analysis suggests that a plantation of under 10,000 ha is inefficient except for short rotation (7 years) and pulp logs. Plantation forest for construction wood needs a time frame of more than 30 years and minimal business scale of 30,000 ha.
The main problems of plantation forests are social conflicts, land security and markets for plantation forest products. The main problems should be acknowledged for potential investors in plantation forest business.
Solutions for successful establishment of plantation forest are as follows:
1. Legal concerns and security of plantation forest
2. Infertile soil of plantation forest, which therefore, needs technology inputs.
3. The availability of good quality seeds.
4. Management, organization, and professional human resources, capital investment.
5. Adequate capital investment.
6. Available industry and markets absorbing plantation forest products.
7. Social conflicts should be controlled to minimal level.
4.2. Feasibility Study and Investment Analysis: Case Study of Barito Pacific Group Companies
A feasibility study was done in 1992, which included an attempt to quantify the profitability of the project. Before the study was done, the Ministry of Forestry issued a permit to set up a trial plantation over 50,000 ha, for a period of five years starting in 1989.
Generally, there are two cost groups in developing a plantation forest, namely costs incurred during the establishment period, and costs incurred during the harvesting period.
Establishment costs were Rp 2,147,683 per hectare (equivalent to US $ 1,058). This covered :
Assumptions that were made for the financial analysis included:
a. The rotation length for the selected species is 8
b. Amortization method is straight line
c. Deposit interest for the equity is 11 %.
d. Inflation rate is 9 %.
e. Commercial interest rate on the reforestation fund is 11 %.
f. Planted area is 193,500 hectares.
g. The area harvested each year is 21,500 hectares.
h. The yield of pulpwood at age eight years is 200 m3/ha.
i. The selling price of the log is Rp 60,000/m3 (US$29.6/m3).
j. Assessment was calculated based on cash flow for 17 years.
Based on these assumptions the analysis showed that the project would yield an internal rate of return (IRR) of 14.12% which is higher than the composite interest of 10.07 %.
Sensitivity analysis showed that the project would still be feasible with the following conditions :
Log price decreases by 8 %
Production decreases by 12 %
Production cost increases by 8%
A combination of selling price and production both decrease by 5%
A combination of selling price decreases by 4% and production cost rises by 4%
A combination of production decreases by 5%, and production cost rises by 5%.
1. The management of forest land in Indonesia should be carried out in a rational way based on comprehensive plans and policies by taking into account the needs of the present as well as the future generation and sustainability of the environment.
2. The key for success of timber plantation development is the availability of information and knowledge of the species to be developed, its ecology and economics, and silvicultural aspects including availability of high quality seeds to supply the plantation at an appropriate time.
3. The social conflict between forest companies and local people must be solved with several alternatives. The solution in this case usually is cooperation with local people.
4. Usually timber plantation development is a very risky and uncertain, and therefore only the big forest companies can be operators in a field with a high pay off.
5. Timber plantation in Indonesia has good opportunities for private companies as investors on the 14 million hectares of logged over area.
Mr. Yoshio Utsuki
is the Executive Director, Japan Overseas Forestry
Consultant Association, Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his present position, he
was a project operations officer, FAO Forestry Department, Rome in
1974-1979; Director, International Cooperation Office, Forestry Agency
in 1987-1989; Managing Director, JICA Forestry Development Cooperation
Department in 1990-1992; and Director General, National Tree Breeding
Institute, Forestry Agency in 1992-1994.
Forest is regarded as a typical ecosystem. Many kinds of plants and animals live in the forests. Numerous microbes can be found in the forest soil. At the ecosystem, species and gene levels, forests are the places to conserve diversity. The forest is not only a treasure house for bio-resources and gene resources, but also a crucial ecosystem which has a variety of functions including production of timber, fuel and food, cultivation and conservation of water, as well as absorption and storage of carbon dioxide.
Human beings have been utilizing many elements of the biodiversity of the forest ecosystem in many ways. In addition, we are now at the stage where we have to utilize them on a sustainable basis and to maintain its diversity. It is our duty to develop and maintain healthy forests with vitality, which produce maximum benefits of various functions including the maintenance of biodiversity. This means that we are requested to materialize "sustainable forest management". We will have to do our utmost effort constantly to carry out various activities, at appropriate times and ways, in order to maintain forest development and conservation. The following are some of our endeavors and experiences in Japan on the above-mentioned context.
1. Forest restoration and expanded plantation development
A large-scale plantation development began after World War II. During the war period (from Japan-China War to World War II), forests and forestlands in Japan were devastated. Timber resources were over exploited as strategic materials during the war, and reconstruction materials after the war. Forestlands were cultivated in order for food production and security. As a result, land slides and floods occurred frequently, destroying farmlands and infrastructure. And the Japanese economy gradually and rapidly expanded, and along with the development, timber demand increased. Coniferous man-made forests were harvested and replanted, and at the same time a vast area of natural broad-leaved forests were clear-felled and immediately replanted with fast growing, commercially valuable coniferous tree species.
2. A gigantic accumulation of man-made forests
During the 1980s, as a result of extensive plantation development, plantations in Japan reached 10 million ha, or about 40% of the total forest area of 25 million ha. During the process of the vast plantation development, many issues occurred and were anticipated to come up. These were the weakness of monoculture coniferous plantations, decrease of natural forest and natural environment, and adverse impact to forest ecosystem and biodiversity. In order to cope with these issues, many administrative systems and measures were adopted in the forest areas.
Looking back at the past plantation activities, we can summarize them in three periods. First, from after the World War II to 1955, it was the period of restoration of forests for prevention of natural disasters. Second, 1956-1972, it was the time for productivity enhancement of forest resources, converting natural forests to artificial forests with high commercial value and fast growing coniferous species. Third, 1973-present, it is now the age of forest conservation and sustainable management, when the multiple forest functions have to be highly expected.
1. Development of protection forest and forest preservation areas
Establishment and maintenance of forests at their maximum levels may mean that the multiple functions of forests are sustained and gradually increased. As a basis for the forest management, various types of forests are demarcated, regardless whether plantations or natural forests, in the private or national/public forests, according to laws and regulations of the central and provincial governments.
The following are some examples:
(a) The designation of protection forests based on the Forest Law.
There are 17 kinds of protection forests based on the Forest Law and the total areas of the protection forests are 8.8 million ha, which is 35% of the total forests of 25 million ha.
i. Water source conservation forest
ii. Soil erosion control forest
iii. Landslide prevention forest
iv. Sand shift prevention forest
v. Windbreak forest
vi. Flood control forest
vii. Sea splash damage control forest
viii. Drought prevention forest
ix. Snow break forest
x. Fog control forest
xi. Avalanche prevention forest
xii. Falling Rock prevention forest
xiii. Fire prevention forest
xiv. Fish breeding forest
xv. Navigation landmark forest
xvi. Public health forest
xvii. Landscape conservation forest
(b) The designation of natural environment conservation areas based on the Nature Conservation Law
i. Strict nature environment conservation areas:
ii. Nature environment conservation area: 84,000ha
(c) The designation of Natural Parks based on the National Parks Law.
There are three kinds of parks under the law. These are the 28 National Parks, 55 Quasi- National Parks and 301 Prefecture Natural Parks. The total forest areas are about 3.8 million ha.
(d) The designation of Wildlife Protection Areas based on the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law.
(e) The designation of world heritage based on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Yakushima Island and Shiragami Mountanious Areas with about 28,000 ha were designated.
(f) Setting up of National Forest Preservation Areas. 7 kinds and 510 thousand ha.
One of them is Forest Ecosystem Preservation Areas. There are 26 designated areas and the total area is 320 thousand ha.
(g) Designation of Natural Habitat Conservation Areas based on the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora.
As indicated above, these protection and preservation areas are designated based on the particular law or decree, and some areas are duplicatedly designated for a few purposes.
2. Plantation development with biodiversity and environmental considerations
Next, I want to discuss how to further develop and nurture plantations established so far and to be established in the future. According to "The Basic Plan on Forest Resources" which was decided by the cabinet in November 1996, as a target of the forest resources in Japan based on "The Forestry Basic Law", Japan has 11.11 million ha of plantations and 14.09 million ha of natural forests. The plantations will increase to 14.20 million ha around the year 2035.
|Target of Forest Resources (million ha)|
|1995||Target of forest resources|
|Intensively managed single- story forest||10.43||
|Intensively managed multi- story forest||0.68||
"Intensive Management" is a generic term for operations such as planting, enrichment, pruning, weeding, liberation cutting and thinning. Plantations consist primarily of fast-growing species with strait trunks producing high-value timber such as cedar and cypress. These are often inter-planted with other species such as pine and larch.
As regards to plantations, there are two types of plantations,
(a) Single-story forest
Single-story forest work will be carried out in high productivity forestland and in view of natural conditions such as topography, soils and vegetation mainly for timber production. And also this is practiced to reforest the land where multiple-functions of forests have to be restored. For this purpose, 0.59 million ha of forests are to be newly created in the water conservation areas. The target area of the single-story forest is 8.88 million ha.
Harvesting should be done in small clear-cut patches surrounded by intact forest cover, taking into account the natural conditions and realization of multiple-functions of forests.
(b) Multi-story forest,
Multi-story forest work will be carried out in the forests where the necessity of multi-functions of forest or timber production is very high, and forest roads are developed enough to carry out the necessary forest works. The target area of the multi-story forest is 5.32 million ha and 4.64 million ha out of it are to be developed by the year 2035.
Under this category, forests are selectively harvested which resulted in the development of mixed stands of trees having different heights and more than one species.
In managing plantations, "long-rotation forest work" is strongly recommended. The typical plantation species in Japan is Japanese cedar and the standard felling cycle is 35 to 40 years when maximum volume timber production can be expected. However, it is desirable to make the rotation much longer to about 70 or 80 years for various reasons under the present social and economic circumstances. Long rotation forest work is to harvest trees such as the main Japanese plantation species of cedar and cypress at the double age (about 70 to 80 years old). In order to expedite multi- story forest work and long-rotation forest work together with the urgent task of thinning work, the Forest Law was revised in 1998.
The government has several kinds of supporting measures for reforestation and forest conservation, in view of assured multiple benefits from the forests for the public, enriching of forest resources and also promotion of economy in mountainous areas. In doing so, some special measures are included for biodiversity and environmental considerations.
1. Reforestation subsidy
The government subsidizes, based on the Forest Law, part of the reforestation cost to forest owners and forest cooperatives. The government subsidy system substantially began in 1910, and increased constantly. The budget of the Forestry Agency for forest development in the fiscal year of 1998 was about 2.5 billion US dollars. The subsidy is provided for almost all forest operations from site preparation to thinning, and also construction of forest operation roads. From late 1980s, the system was improved in order to accommodate the increasing forest environment considerations. The improvement included assistance measures to facilitate multi-story forest operations and also natural forest operations where natural forest regeneration is expedited under difficult natural conditions. Also, the program for long-term rotation forest development started, where assistance is given to the prefectural forests with more than 80 years felling rotation, expecting that such forests will be more functional for public benefits.
2. Reforestation financing system by public funds
The public financing system is available for reforestation, because of the particular nature of reforestation activities as follows:
(a) Long-term and soft loans are required for reforestation and general banking institutions will find it difficult to provide such loans;
(b) Forestry is easily influenced by natural conditions, and the profitability and security of tree planting business do not seem to satisfy general banking institutions;
(c) It is difficult to evaluate the value of forest trees as a security and also to control it as a secured material;
(d) Farmers (forest owners) are not always positive towards investment in forestry, except when they have a surplus in their home account and in their family labor.
A special financing system for reforestation is prepared by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Financing Corporation, supported by the Government policy. This is part of the Government's treasury investment and loan. Along with the development of the reforestation financing system, forest owners in Japan can enjoy long-term and low-interests loans compared to those of the general financing institutions.
As of today, during the fiscal year of 2000, the financing system is very favorable with the interest of 1.9 ~ 2.05 % and the redemption period of 30 ~ 55 years with the grace period of 20 ~ 35 years. When a long-term rotation forest operation is exercised, the most favorable conditions are applied.
3. Special favorable measures in the tax system
Forestry requires very long period for production and its profit is usually marginal. Forest income can be expected once in a while for forest owners in Japan, since they are small holders. In addition, reforestation contributes a lot to water conservation and recreational use of forests. Therefore, special favorable measures have been provided in the tax system, including income tax, corporation tax, inheritance tax and so on.
4. The direct investment of the government to forest restoration activities (erosion control program)
Japan is densely populated and the land has been threatened by natural disasters caused by heavy rain, typhoons, volcanic activity, landslide, debris avalanche and landcreep due to its topographical and geological features. In order to cope with these natural hazards, the Japanese government has been taking a leading role with direct investment based on the Forest Law, the Landslide Prevention Law and the Forest and Water Conservation Urgent Countermeasures Law. Forest restoration activities include two main programs. They are the conservation facilities installment program and the landslide prevention program. These programs consist of several projects as follows:
(a) Rehabilitation and maintenance of devastated forest
(b) Forestation for sand fixation for salt breeze control, and snow avalanche control;
(c) Forest conservation for improvement and enhancement of protection forests;
(d) Execution of landslide and landcreep prevention projects;
(e) Installment of disaster precaution and alarm system for warning and evacuation of local people;
(f) Facilitating road system for well-designed and effective management of protection forests.
The investment programs have been intensified and based on the five year-plans of the Forest and Water Conservation Urgent Countermeasures Law which was enacted in 1959, as a result of massive disaster caused by Ise Bay Typhoon. The projects are carried out directly by the Forestry Agency of the government in the national forest and also for large-scale special projects in private forest areas. Local prefectural governments are usually responsible for carrying out projects in private forest areas, which are subsidized by the Forestry Agency. The budget of the Forestry Agency for the projects has been increasing. For fiscal year of 1998, it was about US$2.5 billion.
As a result of the government's measures for plantation development and conservation of forests, the government's expenditure amounted to about 5.8 billion US dollars in the fiscal year of 1998. This was about 47 US dollars per capita and about 0.1 % of per capita GNP of 40,940 US dollars. It should be stated that during the very difficult period after World War II, the Japanese people bore 0.2 % of per capita GNP of 113 US dollars, which was spent for plantation development and conservation of forests.
The "National Land Greenery Movement" began in 1950 and since then it has become a nationwide event, along with the "Green Feather Fund Raising Movement", in rural areas and urban cities as well.
The Government has initiated, moreover, a new movement for managing forests. Considering the increasing value of forests as public goods, it particularly invites urban people who are good to participate in forest conservation. "Forest management with people's participation" means not only financial contribution by the people, but also people's voluntary participation in actual tree planting and forest management. Every individual is encouraged to join forest management through any possible means, so that individual endeavor, even small, might be merged in nationwide movement.
1. Profit-Sharing Afforestation System (People's participation in forest management)
Profit-sharing system for forest management involves two or three parties of land owners; those who plant or care for planted trees, and those who bear the cost of establishing a forest become contractors of an agreement for making a forest. There are two kinds, one is to make the agreement before planting, which is called the "Profit-Sharing Afforestation System", which is based on the Profit-Sharing Afforestation Special Measures Law in 1958. The other is to make the agreement on the planted forest, which is named "Profit-Sharing Forest Raising System", which started in 1983 by the revision of the same law.
Within the system, the landowners may be the central government, the local governments or private forest owners. Those who plant trees and bear the cost may be public organizations, private persons, the central government, the prefectural governments or the Forest Development Cooperation.
2. Fund Raising for Reforestation and Extension Activities (The National-Fund for Forest Greenery and Water)
"The National Fund for Forest Greenery and Water" was set up in 1988 by the Government in order to promote forest management with the people's participation. The operational profit of the fund will be utilized for the following:
(a) Extension and PR for forest management on a
(b) Research and study on forests;
(c) Cooperation with private groups and assistance for the promotion activities for those who are engaged in forest management;
(d) International exchange activities for foresters.
3. Green Feather Fund Raising and Extension Activities
The Green Feather Fund Raising began in 1959. The purpose of the fund raising was to recover with greenery the national land devastated by the war. Contributions are collected by many volunteers on the city streets and also accepted at Government offices. The fund has been utilized for greenery activities, extension and PR activities. The main activities are as follows:
(a) To finance tree planting activities for the nation's
(b) Planting trees and revegetation in parks, streets, factories, schools, welfare facilities;
(c) Distribution of seedlings, holding symposia and demonstrations;
(d) PR activities such as distribution of posters for the Greenery Day.