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9 February 2013 | Andy Allen
Packaging manufacturer Asia Pulp & Paper has pledged to end the clearance of natural forest across its entire supply chain in Indonesia.
NGO The Forest Trust will carry out independent assessments of APP’s suppliers to identify areas of high conservation value and high carbon stock. These areas of forest will be protected in the future through a long-term management programme. The announcement marks an acceleration of APP’s previous commitment to end the clearance of natural forest by 2015.
The new measures introduced by the company will also include the adoption of international best practice to ensure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
Scott Poynton, executive director of TFT, said: “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.”
Teguh Ganda Wijaya, Chairman of the APP Group, said in a statement: “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.”
Robin Mailoa, CEO of APP supplier Sinar Mas Forestry, said: “This will present challenges for our suppliers, but I am confident that with support of our stakeholders across government and civil society, we can ensure its success.”
The company and its suppliers, which control over 2.5 million hectares of land, have previously been accused of using timber from rainforests to make packaging materials, claims the company has always strongly denied.