Global heavyweight Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) has called for NGOs, governments and businesses to collaborate further in order to protect Indonesia’s remaining pristine forests.
APP, which sells 18 million tonnes of paper in over 120 countries each year, made the call one year after the launch of its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February 2013.
The firm pledged a permanent end to natural forest clearance across its entire supply chain as part of its ‘Sustainability Roadmap Vision 2020’ launched in 2012.
Its commitment is the largest and most ambitious plan for the implementation of landscape level High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) principles in the world.
Ongoing assessments will be key to the development of APP’s Integrated Sustainable Forest Management Plans (ISFMPs), which will determine how its concessions will be run and preserved with the intention of using 100 per cent plantation wood only by 2020.
APP is one of the most prominent firms to undertake such an initiative following campaigns against their activities by NGOs.
Greenpeace is now working with APP to ensure the success of the FCP having previously campaigned against its activities, leading to the cancellation of 130 contracts. Other large firms including GAR, Unilever, Nestlé and Mattel were also included in their campaign.
“It is time for all parties to get active and start working together,” APP’s managing director of sustainability and stakeholder engagement, Aida Greenbury, said in a press statement.
“The days of campaigning against businesses that have shown commitment to change the way they operate, as we have, should be brought to a conclusion. Now is the time to focus on the future and to develop solutions to the complex issues associated with forestry in Indonesia and to promote responsible practise.”
Engagement with the development sector as partners is now an integral part of the firm’s approach.
The firm’s 2020 roadmap that covers eleven impact areas, has been developed by a group of civil society organisations affiliated with the Environmental Paper Networks and will be independently audited by the Rainforest Alliance.
“We understand that complete trust isn’t built in a day and not even in a single year, but the company is listening to concerns and is ready to continue to implement and improve its FCP implementation. APP is 100 per cent committed to zero deforestation,” Greenbury said.
APP’s commitment covers over 2.6 million hectares of forest concessions. Yet effective and sustainable management will require wider collaboration, argues Greenbury.
“We are creating management plans to ensure the viability of the 2.6 million hectares that our suppliers are responsible for. However, unless all of Indonesia’s land is properly managed too, then the forest landscape will continue to be at risk from further degradation.”