APP reports accelerated progress in peatland management

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has announced the acceleration of its Peatland Best Practice Management Project (PBPMP).

APP Natural Forest LR

Following sustained criticism and loss of business from concerns of the effects of its business operations on the environment, the paper giant launched its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) three years ago, committing to end deforestation in its supply chain and bringing sustainability to the forefront of the company’s operations.

Policy commitments include the ending of natural forest conversion throughout its supply chain, best practice in peatland management, and adopting a collaborative approach to resolving social issues.

Specifically, work to block over 3,500 perimeter canals to increase water levels in APP suppliers’ concessions located on peatland has recently been completed, with a total target of 7,000 dams to be built this year.

This is in addition to the retirement of 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra, announced by APP in August 2015.

In total, APP and its suppliers have allocated approximately 600,000 hectares for forest conservation and ecosystem restoration within its suppliers’ concessions.

Additionally, the Integrated Forestry and Farming System Programme launched by APP during COP21 in Paris aims to help local communities develop alternative livelihoods to achieve economic development while also keeping Indonesia’s forests intact.

Steps include giving community members equipment and support in the form of microfinance or revolving funds to help kick start local businesses, as well as horticultural training.

APP has also initiated the Belantara Foundation – which will work with communities, civil society, government and businesses aimed at getting the right balance between economic development, the livelihoods of people in local communities and environmental conservation.

Aida Greenbury, managing director of sustainability and stakeholder engagement at APP, said: “On the third anniversary of our Forest Conservation Policy launch we are pleased to report that our continued work to implement the policy, together with efforts to align our ambitions with those of other actors in Indonesia’s forests have resulted in tangible progress. We now have the building blocks for a sustainable model of forest and pulp and paper operations whereby forests are protected, communities empowered and our supply chains strengthened.

“Looking ahead, we are ready to learn from our experience and to further collaborate with other stakeholders in our landscape, in our country, and beyond, to try to create a better world for future generations.”