Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


24. Implementing reduced impact logging in the Alas Kusuma Group - Nana Suparna*, Harimawan** and Gusti Hardiansyah***


* General Manager, Alas Kusuma Group, Jl. Balikpapan Raya No.14, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia 10130, Tel: ++(62 21) 6386 3807, Fax: ++(62 21) 6386 3804, E-mail: nsuparna@cbn.net.id

** Operational Manager, PT. Suka Jaya Makmur

*** Research & Development Coordinator, Jl. Adisucipto Km 5,3 Sei Raya, Pontianak 78124, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia, Tel: ++(62 561) 72 1866, Fax: ++(62 561) 72 1583, E-mail: phcab@pontianak.wasantara.net.id

INTRODUCTION

The Alas Kusuma Group[41] has for a number of years been following the debate regarding the benefits and costs of reduced impact logging (RIL) and has been developing its capacity to implement RIL, particularly in two of its concessions in Central and West Kalimantan.

WHY ADOPT RIL?

There are basically three reasons why Alas Kusuma has become interested in adopting a RIL management system:

1. The potential for financial benefits, as a result of improved planning and operational control, is of immediate interest to the company. The obvious environmental benefits that RIL bestows on the forest fit closely with the company’s philosophy of sustainable forest management.

2. Alas Kusuma, with the assistance of a forestry project, conducted limited trials in the implementing of RIL in two of its concessions in West and Central Kalimantan. The results of these trials (Tables 1 and 2) strongly supported the assumption that RIL can provide both financial and environmental benefits.

3. Recent developments in the international market place have brought about a realization of the need to pursue forest certification. RIL is one aspect of forest management that will be accorded major significance in the criteria and indicator scoring process. Therefore, the implementation of RIL is seen as a necessary step in achieving forest certification.

INITIAL RIL TRIAL RESULTS

SBK operational RIL trial

In 1995, the Alas Kusuma concession of PT Sari Bumi Kusuma (SBK), collaborated with the USAID- funded Natural Resource Management Project (NRMP) in conducting an operational trial in which some RIL components were implemented (NRMP, 1995).

The company’s existing contour maps were used as a basis for planning a systematic harvest on a 25 ha area. Skid trails were planned, located and opened prior to the start of felling activities.

One of the main objectives of this study was to evaluate differences in productivity and environmental impact by pre-planning harvesting activities and exerting a tighter control over felling and skidding. Table 1 illustrates some of the results of this trial. A detailed study report was prepared as an NRMP project document (NRMP, 1996).

Table 1. Selected results of the trial in implementing RIL in the Sari Bumi Kusuma concession in Central Kalimantan


Trial compartment (RIL)

Control compartment (conventional)

Block number

BB 36

V 36

Study area

25.5 ha

44.9 ha

Average standing stock

9.7 trees/ha

8.8 trees/ha

Average volume

55 m3/ha

47.1 m3/ha

Evaluation results



Actual production

46.4 m3/ha

33.8 m3/ha

Felling productivity

17.4 trees/person day

14 trees/person day

Skidding productivity

16.8 pieces/working day

14 trees/working day

Soil disturbance (as a % of area logged)

4.2%

6.4%

Crown closure

61%

42.5%

Remaining future crop trees (20-49 cm)

56 trees/ha

41.1 trees/ha

Avoidable waste

1.8 m3/ha

13.4 m3/ha

SJM operational RIL trial

The potential for improved harvesting economics, combined with obvious beneficial environmental results, as indicated by the initial SBK trial, prompted Alas Kusuma to attempt to duplicate this operational experiment on a slightly larger scale on its PT Suka Jaya Makmur (SJM) concession in West Kalimantan. There were two significant outcomes of this second trial.

Firstly, the potential of increasing productivity and reducing environmental impact through the adoption of improved operational planning and control, confirmed the outcome of the first trial in the Sari Bumi Kusuma concession. Table 2 summarizes some of the results of the second trial.

The second outcome was the realization that if large-scale adoption of RIL was to succeed, a number of significant improvements and changes still had to be made in the way the company organized its activities and in the technical competence of its staff.

Table 2. Selected results of the trial in implementing RIL in the Suka Jaya Makmur concession in West Kalimantan


Trial compartment (RIL)

Control compartment (conventional)

Block number

QQQ 22

PPP 22

Study area

97 ha

100 ha

Average standing stock

3.2 trees/ha

3.3 trees/ha

Average volume

25 m3/ha

26 m3/ha

Evaluation results



Actual production

21.75 m3/ha

20 m3/ha

Felling productivity

34.4 trees/person day

25 trees/person day

Skidding productivity

21.9 pieces/work day

16.6 pieces/work day

Soil disturbance (as a % of area logged)

3.96%

4.13%

Crown closure

67%

35%

Seedlings damaged

50%

67%

Poles damaged

38%

53%

MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES IN IMPLEMENTING RIL

Following an analysis of the results of the two RIL trials, senior management decided to attempt to implement RIL on some of its concessions in West and Central Kalimantan. To prepare for the adoption on a larger scale, a number of steps had already been taken.

Introducing the RIL concept to management

The Alas Kusuma Group allows concession managers considerable independence in how they run their operations. The adoption of a new management system, therefore, involves a considerable amount of consensus building within the management team.

During the SJM trial, a short video was made (P.T. Suka Jaya Makmur, 1998), which documented the procedures and recorded the impressions of the forest workers as they tried to follow the different approaches. This video, along with the results of the trial, was used to inform the management and staff of the benefits of RIL. The company carried out informal ‘in-house’ workshops where results were presented and discussed. The staff was also able to discuss the problems and challenges which still need to be overcome before full adoption of RIL is achieved.

Improving procedures for operational mapping

Stock mapping and topographic mapping had been conducted in the Alas Kusuma concessions for quite some time, primarily to fulfil administrative requirements for obtaining the annual cutting permits. The SJM trial in implementing RIL showed that these maps also had an important operational function. It became clear that the accuracy of the maps was quite low and inadequate to achieve good control in the planning and implementation of RIL. To overcome this problem, in-house training was organized at the SJM Concession in West Kalimantan. It involved also personnel from other concessions. The purpose of the training was to teach inventory crews how to collect elevation data and produce accurate contour maps.

Table 3 provides a comparison between the way topographic mapping was done initially and the improvements that were achieved as a result of the training. There were additional costs in carrying out the survey and mapping more accurately, but as a component of the overall production costs, these additional costs were quite small.

Table 3. Post-training changes to contour mapping

Old method

New method

1. Using baseline or boundary

1. Using baseline with starting elevation referenced to mean sea level.

2. Contours are actually form lines with no fixed or consistent interval

2. Contours are controlled and accurate

3. Form lines are sketched in the office. This takes about one day per 100 ha block.

3. Form lines are sketched first on the field tally sheet. Accurate contours are calculated and drafted in the office. This takes about one week per 100 ha block.

4. Field data collection: 12 crew days or, 108 person days per 100 ha block.

4. Field data collection: 15 crew days or, 135 person days per 100 ha block.

5. Costs: Rp.3 500 000 per 100 ha block

5. Cost: Rp.6 000 000 per 100 ha block

6. Surveyor feels unsatisfied, being unsure of the accuracy of the resulting map.

6. Survey teams feel more confident of the final map product because it is based on actual data and requires greater knowledge and skill to prepare. (It is also possible to process the field data and to produce the contour map using a computer program)

7. There is very little collaboration between different survey teams.

7. There is an increased spirit of collaboration between the survey teams and better morale.

Alas Kusuma staff have also participated in computer mapping training organized by the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Alas Kusuma intends to develop in-house capabilities for both manual and computer mapping for the large-scale implementation of RIL. Additional in-house training in the use of this mapping software has already been carried out and further training is planned.

Training for chainsaw and tractor operators

Alas Kusuma conducts in-house training for its forest workers such as fellers and tractor operators. This type of training is considered essential for the company’s efforts to promote and implement RIL.

Participation in external training, workshops, and study tours

The following chronology indicates the external training that Alas Kusuma staff participated in:

· July, 1998:

Regional Trainers Workshop on Silvicultural Prescriptions and Reduced Impact Timber Harvesting Techniques, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (One person for one month).

· March, 1999:

Study Tour and Training of Trainers, Sabah, Malaysia (Two persons).

· September, 2000:

Sent five participants on a training course organized in Bogor. The purpose of this training was to develop the capability for Alas Kusuma to process field survey data by computer[42] so that our contour mapping can be implemented more effectively.

· November, 2000:

RIL Training for Forest Managers held in Malinau, East Kalimantan.

Development of technical guidelines

To show its commitment to improving forest practices and to support forest workers, Alas Kusuma has developed simple, illustrated technical pocket books that demonstrate the correct ways to carry out the various harvesting activities. These pocket books have been circulated to all forest divisions within the company.

The company has also circulated an internal policy statement (Director of Production, 1997) to all of its concessions in West Kalimantan in support of the Ministry of Forestry policy regarding the technical requirements for planning, designing and constructing skid trails.

Internal workshop on RIL

In 1998, Alas Kusuma conducted a five-day internal workshop on RIL at Tanjung Asam in the SJM Concession. The workshop was attended by over 70 participants from all the Alas Kusuma concessions in Indonesia. The company also invited outside experts to the workshop.

The purpose of this in-house workshop was to provide an opportunity for forest managers and their staff to familiarize themselves with RIL and to share experiences on the progress and outstanding problems still preventing the widespread adoption of RIL.

It is the company’s intention to repeat this type of workshop at least every three years.

IN-HOUSE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT OF REMAINING CONSTRAINTS

Early efforts by Alas Kusuma in implementing RIL on a trial basis highlighted a number of problem areas, both in terms of management and technical matters. The 1998 internal workshop was the first step in recognizing and dealing with these problems. In addition, Alas Kusuma has assessed periodically its progress in improving harvesting practices and has also developed and tested its own operator evaluation forms (Appendix I). It is clear that there are still problems that need to be overcome.

Tree and topography surveys

Field survey procedures for collecting tree-position and elevation data are well understood by the survey crews. The manual production of tree and contour maps is progressing well.

Recently, the company has started using a computer program for contour mapping using field data collected during the 100 percent inventory. The application of the program for data processing has highlighted some problems in the accuracy and consistency of field data collection. Accuracy needs to be improved through additional training and a greater involvement of the field surveyors in the data processing.

Harvest planning (planning of skid trail location)

The procedure and effectiveness of skid trail planning on contour and tree maps is generally understood by the technical and operational staff.

Since manual mapping procedures sometimes hide data inaccuracies, problems in the accuracy and effectiveness of the skid trail planning often result. The application of computer software to the map preparation has highlighted these inaccuracies.

Implementing skid trail plans

Attempts to implement the skid trail plans are still encountering difficulties relating to the lack of experience of the engineering crew responsible for the location of the skid trail. The result is that the skid trails are sometimes located in inappropriate locations.

This problem relates to the ability of the technicians to interpret the plan and transfer it to the field, and indicates the need for further training and field practice.

Felling

Although tree fellers generally perform well, it is clear that improvements still need to be made if optimum felling and bucking are to be achieved. Technical problems in felling have been noted. The achievement of accurate directional felling to optimize alignment to the skid trails needs to be improved. Improving fellers’ performances will require additional training. Competent trainers have not yet been identified.

It is also becoming clear that the supervision of the fellers needs to be improved. Although Alas Kusuma has developed guidelines for fellers, more needs to be done to implement the use of guidebooks and to ensure that better felling is achieved. This is seen as a management problem and is related in part, to the fact that in Alas Kusuma, as in many other companies, fellers are paid by volume. Therefore, strict supervision has never been a high priority. Alas Kusuma is investigating the possibility of linking feller performance as determined by its internal rating system to a bonus payment scheme.

Skidding

The company noted that the tractor operators are generally comfortable with the predetermination of the skid trail network since it makes their work easier. However, operators are sometimes reluctant to follow skid trails and they sometimes make their own skid trails. This problem is probably related to the fact that the technical skills of the engineering crews still need to be improved so that skid trails are always constructed in the correct location.

Also, supervision of the skidding operation needs to be improved. As with felling, tractor operators are paid on a piecemeal basis. Consequently actual field supervision of the operators has never been strongly developed. As with the fellers, proposals to link skidding performance, as determined by the company’s internal rating system, to a bonus payment scheme, are being discussed.

The availability of good quality winch cables in Indonesia is a problem. As a result, frayed cables and breakages are common. Stronger and lighter cables would be beneficial and would encourage more winching. The technical constraints make winching more difficult and create a reluctance of the skidding team to winch logs to the skid trail. The use of cable chokers needs to be encouraged.

Landing size

Trees are usually skidded full length. This makes larger landings necessary. Up to now, we have not studied this problem. The planning of landings as part of the skidding planning has not been emphasized. This activity still needs to be improved in terms of planning, establishment of bucking standards and proper liaison with production supervisors.

Post-harvesting activity

Operators are instructed to make cross-drains on skid trails as they complete their work. While most operators make some attempt to do this, we still find that this activity is not carried out very effectively. Operators are reluctant to change the blade position on machines requiring manual adjustments. This is a problem in many countries where bulldozers are used for skidding and skid trail and road closure.

This is seen primarily as a supervision problem, although the need to educate operators on the importance of carrying out this activity is also recognized.

Operator evaluation

Alas Kusuma has developed an operator assessment form (Appendix I) which the company hopes to use for future evaluation of the performance of fellers and tractor operators. A field test of this assessment procedure was carried out in September 1999, in the Suka Jaya Makmur concession. The company’s internal evaluation shows that all fellers and tractor operators know the RIL requirements but that improvements still need to be made in getting the forest workers to carry out the work to RIL standards consistently (Table 4).

Table 4. Results of a trial evaluation of fellers and tractor operators using the company’s evaluation system

Chainsaw operator

Working compartment

Evaluation score (max. possible score of 53.4)

Qualification

< 55%

55-70%

> 70%

C1

RRR 20


61.9


Understanding

C2

UUU 19


63.3


Understanding

C3

777 19


63.3


Understanding

C4

UUU 21



75.8

Practising

C5

UUU 22


65.7


Understanding

C6

UUU 23



71.9

Practising

C7

WWW 21



71.9

Practising

Tractor operator

 

(max. possible score of 85.5

 

< 55%

55-70%

> 70%

T1

RRR 20



76.6

Practising

T2

WWW 21



70.2

Practising

T3

TTT 19



70.8

Practising

T4

VVV 21



74.3

Practising

T5

VVV 231



72.4

Practising

T6

UUU 22



75.5

Practising

T7

VVV 21



74.3

Practising

This is seen as both a management supervision issue as well as a technical training issue. The company is also investigating the possibility of adopting a bonus payment scheme based on the quantity and quality of work as well as the difficulty of the terrain and working environment. A profile of the operators is included in Appendix II.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Alas Kusuma Group is committed to achieving sustainable forest management in all of its concessions. RIL is recognized as an important step in achieving this objective. The company perceives that RIL, if implemented correctly, can provide a net financial benefit in terms of increased productivity and lower operating costs. The environmental benefits of RIL have been demonstrated in trials carried out in the company’s concessions.

Consequently, since 1988, Alas Kusuma has been working towards implementing RIL on selected concessions in Central and West Kalimantan. While significant progress has been made, it is understood that much still needs to be done. The most necessary improvements fall into three categories.

In conclusion, it is felt that within the overall forest concession system in Indonesia, general implementation of RIL will only succeed on a large scale if the Ministry of Forestry ensures that all harvesting activities are carried out within an effective and transparent regulatory framework where all stakeholders are equally informed and comply equally with the regulations and laws governing the forest resource.

REFERENCES

Director Production of PT. Suka Jaya Makmur. 1997. Surat Keputusan No. 36/PH/PTK/In/VII/1997 Mengenai Ketentuan Teknis Pelaksanaan Perencanaan, Desain & Pembuatan Jalan Sarad (Internal policy statement regarding technical guidelines for planning, design, and construction of skid trails), Pontianak.

Natural Resource Management Project. 1995. A proposal for an operational trial in improved logging utilization and impact reduction in the natural production forest. Report No. 58, Jakarta.

Natural Resource Management Project. 1996. Report on an operational logging trial and the evaluation of the harvested stand. Report No. 70, Jakarta.

PT. Suka Jaya Makmur. 1998. Video Perencanaan Jalan Sarad Untuk RIL, (video on skid trail planning, design and construction for reduced impact logging). Camp Pawan Selatan, 30 min.

RECOMMENDED READING

Hardiansyah, G. 1998. Buku Saku Teknik Praktis RIL Untuk Arah RebahPenebangan Pohon di Hutan Tropis, (pocket book: Practical technique of RIL for directional felling in tropical forest), Alas Kusuma Research & Development Division.

Hardiansyah, G. 1998. Buku Saku Teknik Praktis RIL Untuk Pembuatan Jalan Sarad dan Penyaradan, (pocket book: Practical technique of RIL for skidding and skid trail construction), Alas Kusuma Research & Development Division.

Harimawan, 1998. Reduced Impact Logging: P.T. Suka Jaya Makmur, Alas Kusuma Camp Pawan Selatan.

P.T. Sari Bumi Kusuma. 1998. Buku Saku Untuk Petugas Lapangan & Mandor: Pedoman Praktis Kegiatan Pembinaan Hutan Sistem TPTI Pegunungan, (pocket book for foreman: Practical guideline of TPTI system in the tropical forest), Dept. of Forest Rehabilitation and Environment.

P.T. Suka Jaya Makmur, P.T Sari Bumi Kusuma, 2000, Prosiding Workshop: Evaluasi Pemanenan Kayu Yang Ramah Lingkungan, (Workshop Proceedings: RIL Evaluation in Concessions to Increase Efficiency, Productivity and Environmental Friendliness), Alas Kusuma, Pontianak.

Suparna, N. 1998. Pengalaman Penerapan RIL di Alas Kusuma Group (Mitra Proyek NRM-USAID), (Experiencing RIL application in Alas Kusuma Group - Cooperation with NRMP-USAID), Workshop on Silviculture and Reduced Impact Logging, Anyer, 14-17 April, 1998. DFID & DepHut.

APPENDIX I. RIL MONITORING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR FOREST WORKERS

Appendix 1a.

RIL MONITORING AND EVALUATION FOR TRACTOR OPERATOR

PT.:


DATE:

GROUP:


BLOCK:

LEVEL:

HARVESTING AREA:


NO

ACTIVITIES

RATE

VALUE

SCORE (Max)

REMARKS

1

Skid trail location construction






- Yes

1

6

6

Notes:


- No

0

6


Total score is appointment based on score = rate X value

2

Slope topography skid trail width






- maximum 4,5 M.

0.8

5

4



- > 4,5 M.

0.2

5



3

Is the skid trail tractor moving?




Level:


- Yes

1

4

4

A: ³ 70 (Excellent)


- No

0.3

4


B: 60 £ B < 70 (Good)

4

Skid trail deviant




C: 50 £ C < 60 (Average)


- Yes, with supervisor permission

0.8

5

4

D: 40 £ D < 50 (Poor)


- Yes, without supervisor permission

0

5


E: < 40 (Unacceptable)


- No

1

5



5

Ground blading






- No

1

5

5



- Yes, on > 15% slope

0.5

5




- Yes, on < 15% slope

0

5



6

Skid trail location






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0

5



7

Optimum winching technique






- Yes

0.8

6

4.8



- No

0.2

6



8

Log skidded to the near log landing location






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0

5



9

Commercial log damaged by skidding






- < 2%

0.6

5

3



- 2,5%

0.3

5




- > 5%

0.1

5



10

Future crop trees damaged






- < 5%

0.4

5

2



- 5 - 25%

0.3

5




- > 25%

0.1

5



11

Trees labelled on the log and stump






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0

5



12

Cross-river skidding






- Yes, with treatment

0.8

6

4.8



- Yes, without treatment

0

6




- No

1

6



13

Soil in water channel






- Yes

0

6




- No

1

6

6


14

Winching






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0.5

5



15

Limited log landing max. 900 M2.






- Yes

1

4

4



- No

0.5

4



16

Postharvesting skid trail treatment






- Yes

1

8

8



- No

0

8



17

Postharvesting former log landing treatment






- Yes

1

8

8



- No

0

8



TOTAL



85.6


Appendix 1b.

RIL MONITORING AND EVALUATION FOR CHAINSAW OPERATOR

PT.:


DATE:

GROUP:


BLOCK:

LEVEL:

HARVESTING AREA:


NO

ACTIVITIES

RATE

VALUE

AMOUNT (Max)

REMARKS

1

Preharvesting tree checking






- Yes

1

5

5

Notes:


- No

0

5


Total score is appointment based on score = rate X value

2

Pine cutting and weeding






- Yes

1

6

6



- No

0

6



3

Safety lines




Level:


- Yes

0.6

5

3

A: ³ 70 (Excellent)


- No

0.4

5


B: 60 £ B < 70 (Good)

4

Directional felling




C: 50 £ C < 60 (Average)


- Conformable

0.6

7

4.2

D: 40 £ D < 50 (Poor)


- To steep bank

0.3

7


E: < 40 (Unacceptable)


- To stump/stones/streams/ravine/future crop trees

0.1

6



5

Cut down and back-cut






- Yes

1

6

6



- No

0

6



6

Wedge used






- Yes

0.5

4

2



- No

0.4

4



7

Stump barber chair






- Yes

0

6




- No

1

6

6


8

High stump non-buttress trees






- < 30 Cm

0.4

7

2.8



- 20 - 50 Cm

0.3

7




- > 50 Cm

0.1

7



9

High stump buttress trees






- < 50 Cm

0.4

7

2.8



- 50 - 80 Cm

0.3

7




- > 80 Cm

0.1

7



10

Felling trees damaged






- < 2%

0.4

7

2.8



- 2 - 5%

0.3

7




- > 5%

0.1

7



11

Future crop trees damaged






- < 5%

0.4

7

2.8



- 5 - 25%

0.3

7




- > 25%

0.1

7



12

Company standard bucking






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0

5



13

Take one label, once in stump






- Yes

1

5

5



- No

0

5



TOTAL



53.4


APPENDIX II

Profile of chainsaw operators

Profile of tractor operators

Age between 25 - 37 years.

Age between 25 - 34 years.

Education mostly elementary

Education mostly Junior High School (2 with elementary education only)

Years of experience varied from 2-14 years

Years of experience varied from 5-15 years

Monthly production varied from 1 000 to 2 000 m

Monthly production varied from 1 000 to 2 000 m

All chainsaw operators have received in-house training and have passed an appraisal test at the Company's facility at Tanjung Asam.

All tractor operators have received in-house training and have passed an appraisal test at the Company's facility at Tanjung Asam.


[41] The Alas Kusuma Group is Indonesia’s third largest forest company and holds timber concessions in West, Central and East Kalimantan as well as in Sumatera. The combined concession holdings of the Group total approximately 1.1 million ha.
[42] The computer program used is ROADENG developed by Softree Technical Systems.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page