APP pledges to stop clearing Indonesian rainforest
By Pamela Mardle Tuesday, 05 February 2013
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has pledged to halt its Indonesian deforestation projects with immediate effect, bringing 2012's anti-deforestation pledge forward by two years.
The world's third largest pulp and paper company announced its revised Forest Conservation Policy yesterday (5 February) at its latest quarterly update of its ‘Vision 2020’ Sustainability Roadmap, held in Jakarta.
The initial Roadmap, published in June 2012, pledged to end natural forest clearance across its entire supply chain by 2015. However, this has now been brought forward to 1 February 2013, following years of campaigning by Greenpeace and other NGOs.
APP has ordered its suppliers to suspend all natural forest clearance whilst independent assessments of those concessions containing natural forest are carried out byThe Forest Trust (TFT). High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas will be protected.
Natural forest is defined as greenery that has reproduced naturally, rather than been grown on plantations.
TFT will carry out HCS assessments on all suppliers’ sourcing grounds to identify natural forests and ensure that future plantation development does not take place in these areas. The HCS is a recognised assessment of greenhouse gas concentration to identify areas of natural forest.
APP will continue to process fibre from areas determined by HCS assessments as old scrub/regenerating forest, young scrub, and cleared/open land. However, it will not log areas defined as low density/older regenerating forest, medium density or high density forest.
Logs cut by APP’s supply chain before 1 February will still be processed in its mills, as will all fibre cleared from land that is has been previously identified as non-forest.
APP chairman Teguh Ganda Wijaya said: "This is a major commitment and investment from APP Group. We are doing this for the sustainability of our business and for the benefit of society. We hope our stakeholders will support our new Policy, help us along the way and urge other industry players to follow."
TFT executive director Scott Poynton commented: "APP’s shift towards a policy of No Deforestation is hugely significant. As the largest forest product business in an extremely sensitive area, APP is now in a position of leadership, a stunning reversal in light of its past reputation.
"The new APP Forest Conservation Policy de-links the company from natural forest destruction and recognises the rights of indigenous and local communities. In so doing APP has set a benchmark for others to follow.
"There is of course a lot of work to do to implement the policy in its entirety and to put in place the necessary controls and monitoring processes. The leaders of APP recognise this and we will work alongside them to make this happen."
Bustar Maita, head of Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign in Indonesia, commended APP on its commitment to stop natural deforestation, but warned: "We will be monitoring progress closely.
"If APP fully implements its new policies it will mark a dramatic change in direction, after years of deforestation in Indonesia.
"As a matter of urgency, Indonesia’s government should improve enforcement of forestry laws to help companies like APP implement their conservation policies. Only concerted action from government, industry and Indonesian civil society can finally turn the tide of extinction facing Sumatra’s tigers."
Greenpeace has had a turbulent relationship with APP over the past few years, most recently in the case of Greenpeace’s involvement in a letter sent by non-government organisations urging major companies boycott the company.
Since the launch of its campaign against APP, more than 100 major national and international companies have cut ties with APP, including: Adidas, Danone, Delhaize, Hasbro, ING, Kraft, Lego, Mattel, Mondi, Montblanc, Nestlé, Tesco UK, Unilever and Xerox.
Greenpeace sent a letter to Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL), Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper supplier, on the day of APP’s announcement, urging the company to follow suit. APP and APRIL together account for approximately 80% of Indonesian pulp production.Tweet
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