JAKARTA, Indonesia, Jan. 28, 2014 (Press Release) - APRIL announced a far-reaching commitment to the environment here today with endorsements from the Indonesian Forestry Minister and Norway's Ambassador to Indonesia.
Asia's second-largest pulp and paper manufacturer, APRIL introduced an upgraded Sustainable Forest Management Policy that commits the company to:
- A moratorium on plantation development anywhere that assessments to identify High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) have not been completed;
- An end to the establishment of new plantations by December 2014;
- By 2019, a mill wood supply that is entirely taken from plantations;
- Doubling the size of its forest restoration program to 40,000 hectares;
- Strive to support conservation areas equal in size to APRIL's plantation areas;
- An independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee to oversee implementation of APRIL's Policy.
The Policy is available at www.aprilasia.com
"This Policy exceeds any commitment we have ever made, and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee ensures it will be implemented transparently," said APRIL President Praveen Singhavi. He spoke at a press briefing with Indonesian Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan.
Dignitaries in the audience included Joar L. Strand, Counsellor from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta. Norway has been a leader in urging the protection of forests globally to reduce carbon emissions.
"The private sector will play a crucial role in contributing to Indonesia's goal of reducing deforestation with 80 percent by 2020," said Norway's Ambassador to Indonesia, Stig Traavik, in a prepared statement. "We want to congratulate APRIL on its new Sustainable Forest Management Policy, in particular APRIL's promise to involve local communities and ensure the environmental integrity of the policy. Openness and independent review will be key for this policy to succeed. We are now eager to see how APRIL will follow up this policy in practice."
APRIL said its Policy will ensure continued protection of High Conservation Value Forest. In 2005, APRIL became the first Indonesian company to identify and protect HCVF land. APRIL and long-term suppliers now preserve more than 250,000 hectares of forest designated HCVF by independent assessors.
Under the Policy, APRIL said it will expand a forest restoration program initiated last May. APRIL established Restorasi Ekosistem Riau a 10-year, $17 million program to renew 20,265 hectares of degraded forest land on Sumatra's Kampar Peninsula. The company's Sustainability Policy calls for a new, 20,450-hectare restoration initiative at the core of Pulau Padang, Sumatra. The island is the site of the last APRIL concession to be developed for plantation use.
APRIL said the Stakeholder Advisory Committee will independently monitor implementation of the Sustainable Forest Management Policy. The Committee will select its own verification auditor. It will report on APRIL's progress in meeting Policy goals. APRIL said key stakeholders, including conservation organization WWF, will be invited to participate in the Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is a leading producer of fibre, pulp and paper with manufacturing operations in Kerinci, Riau Province, Indonesia. APRIL has been a pioneer in implementing sustainability practices in the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia.