28 January 2014
Jakarta (28/1) – WWF has cautiously welcomed a Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) launched today by Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), noting that a commitment to support forest conservation areas equal in size to its plantations sets a new standard for the pulp and paper industry in Indonesia.
“Given WWF’s longstanding calls for an end to the environmental abuses associated with the pulp and paper industry, APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy would seem to be demonstrating willingness on the part of the company to transforming its operations,” said Dr Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia. “If APRIL truly fulfills the entire commitment in the policy, it will lead to a positive contribution to Indonesia’s forest, biodiversity, emission reduction and people.”
Under the new policy, APRIL will from today establish a moratorium on clearing in concessions where there has not been independent assessment of conservation values. The company and its long term supply partners will complete plantation establishment by the end of 2014 and will support a pilot study to help develop industry accepted methods for evaluating and protecting High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests and peatland areas.
But the policy also allows for APRIL to utilize wood from tropical forests in its mill until the end of 2019. WWF is urging APRIL to become a 100% plantation fiber company in 2014, warning that without robust processes and independent monitoring high value and high carbon forest material could continue to leak through this loophole into the pulp mills.
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