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30 April 2014 | Will Green
Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has announced a plan to “restore and support the conservation” of one million hectares of rainforest across Indonesia.
The carton board and packaging business said it would work with stakeholders and suppliers on a number of initiatives including establishing wildlife corridors and buffer zones and restoring forest areas. The work will protect the habitats of tigers, elephants and orangutans.
The move comes a year after APP announced its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), which saw an “immediate and permanent cessation of natural forest clearance across its supply chain”, following a Greenpeace campaign.
Aida Greenbury, managing director of sustainability at APP, said: “After over a year of implementing our FCP, it has become clear that key to success of any efforts to halt deforestation in Indonesia is a landscape level approach to forest restoration and conservation.
“Land cannot be conserved or restored in isolation; the sustainability of the entire landscape must be taken into account and many stakeholders must be involved. We hope that by working with Indonesian and international stakeholders, as well as organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace, our efforts will be much more effective.”
APP said it and other stakeholders would set up an independently–administered trust fund to manage and finance these conservation measures “in order to ensure their sustainability and viability into the future”. The firm will also establish a “multi-stakeholder platform” comprising “national and international NGOs and other institutions to guide the implementation of these conservation and restoration commitments”.
Rod Taylor, director of WWF’s Global Forest Programme, said: “We are encouraged by this announcement and look forward to working with APP and other stakeholders to figure out the details of where and how forests will be restored and conserved under this initiative.”
Greenpeace said the move was “a major step forward for APP and for conservation in Indonesia” but “the size of the challenge involved cannot be underestimated”.