Indonesia's commitment on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) will see a suspension on new forest and peat licenses granted. APP, headquartered in Jakarta, believes this is an important opportunity for the Indonesian forestry industry and affected stakeholders to have the chance to improve spatial planning and sustainable forestry best practices nationwide. During this timeframe APP will move ahead with a planned series of activities and programs aimed at assessing and enhancing its sustainable practices.
Programs planned over the coming two years include:
An ambitious independent study on the impact of plantation development and greenhouse gas emissions on all soil types;
Enhancing key conservation areas, including creation of valuable wildlife corridors;
Research and pilot programs involving the protection of key Indonesian endangered species, including the Sumatran Tiger, Javan Rhino and Orangutan;
A pilot program to develop a bio-village in the Giam Siak Kecil Biosphere reserve in Riau Province;
Developing a verifiable carbon conservation model at Kampar Carbon Reserve, the world's first pulpwood plantation REDD+ project;
Development of eco-friendly housing with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia for a poverty stricken community in Central Java;
Expansion of legality, Chain of Custody and sustainable forest certification management programs to meet 2020 vision;
Expansion of CDM programs;
And a commitment by APP and its pulpwood suppliers to plant 1 million trees a day as part of its afforestation program.
"As we enter the Year of the Forest we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to look deep within our sustainable programs in our production facilities and forest management initiatives to help guide the future of our global business. The moratorium is a unique opportunity for us to reflect on what we've done well, where we need continuous improvement, and what relevant best practices exist worldwide. We will look across our plantation development, pulp and paper production operations, and conservation and community development initiatives, all with an eye on the future and the ideal of creating a sustainability roadmap to take us to 2020 and beyond," said Aida Greenbury, Managing Director for APP.
Reducing carbon emissions and preserving valuable carbon sinks while enhancing the sustainable livelihood of people in surrounding communities will be one major focus over the next two years, Greenbury said. APP has engaged third-party research groups to analyze and take reliable carbon stock calculations in plantation development, with an emphasis on assessing carbon emissions in all soil types. This will be the first independent research project conducted in Indonesian pulpwood plantations that covers analysis of all soil types for a full year crossing all seasons. It is expected to provide valuable learning to guide future sustainable forestry programs. The analysis will measure greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 and CO4) and loss of organic materials in lowland forest and adjacent upland in pristine and degraded natural peat forest over the course of one year. Equipment is currently being installed in and around concessions managed by APP pulpwood suppliers in Riau, Jambi and South Sumatra.
APP also expects to make significant progress on the development of the Kampar Carbon Reserve. Led by the green entrepreneur firm Carbon Conservation in partnership with APP and its supplier, the Kampar Carbon Reserve involves re-allocating more than 15,000 hectares of deep peat carbon sink from a concession allocated for pulpwood plantation to conservation land located on the Kampar peat dome. The project will use the sale of REDD+ credits to inject millions of dollars into local job creation and community development programs in the indigenous communities surrounding the land over the lifespan of the preservation program. Carbon Conservation is in the process of data collection and compilation to build the carbon storage model, a model that will be independently verified and validated annually.
"Carbon research is one of our top priorities during the moratorium," said Ms. Greenbury. "We expect to gain valuable learnings and insights from both these two critical carbon research initiatives. Coming out of the moratorium our goal to be in a position to create more accurate models to measure the real impact of sustainable plantation development and use that data to drive our decision making and planning for future plantations and conservation areas."
APP will also conduct critical research and expansion initiatives in its flagship conservation areas. APP has set aside preservation of more than 6,000 hectares of natural forest rich in biodiversity and social value for the Taman Raja Nature Preserves. The company will embark on an expansion program designed to create a critical wildlife corridor linking the Taman Raja Nature Preserve to Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park. In addition to announcing plans to expand the corridor, APP will soon announce details of a new tiger habitat study being conducted by renown Indonesian environmentalist and tiger expert Bastoni.
Within the Giam Siak Kecil - Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, APP will also soon announce details of a new bio-village program. One major initiative in the program is providing access to clean water for local communities in the area. The Biosphere Reserve consists of 178,000 hectares of richly bio-diverse natural forest with a massive carbon sink and unique peat land. In addition to conservation and wildlife protection, the collaborative initiative with APP, its suppliers, local government, NGOs and community leaders involves a wide range of programs supporting economic and social development needs of people living in small village and communities in and around the biosphere. This new initiative will be conducted in partnership with a scientific organization to use breakthrough technology to provide safe, clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing and agricultural use.
Other examples of initiatives that will take place during the course of the moratorium include a new program in the Senepis Tiger Sanctuary to help preserve and expand the Sumatran tiger population. APP will also be involved in the protection and rehabilitation of habitat for the Javan Rhino in cooperation with Ujung Kulon National Park.
"The spirit of the moratorium goes beyond limiting forest conversion. More important is that private industry in Indonesia use this timeframe to continue to expand active conservation management programs that are essential to the future of sustainable forest protection," said Ms. Greenbury. "The Year of the Forest is about preserving our natural resources. It's also about meaningfully addressing the social and economic needs in support of core principles of the UN Millennium Developments Goals to help the millions of people who live in and around the forests."