12 February 2013

Asia Pulp & Paper announces end to deforestation in Indonesia

One of the world’s major producers of pulp and paper has said it will put a halt to deforestation in Indonesia.

After years of pressure from local and international environmental groups led by Greenpeace the Jakarta-based Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced this week that they will end all further rainforest clearance. APP is one of the two global pulp and paper producers in Indonesia that has relied on rainforest fibre for its products used by household brands across the global.

APP’s commitment comes at a pivotal time for Indonesia’s forests as a two-year moratorium on deforestation decreed by President Yudhoyono in 2011 expires in May 2013.

Following their commitment to end deforestion in Indonesia, the APP has also published a new ‘Forest Conservation Policy’ which has specified the crucial  points including best practice peatland management; new protocol to ensure that the community are consulted of any new plantation development; to practice responsible forest management; and to set monitoring system of their commitments.

Greenpeace said in a statement that their campaign which started in 2010 to transform Indonesia’s pulp and paper sector has seen ground-breaking investigations of APP’s operations and high profile campaigns around the world exposing the global brands whose paper and packaging is supplied from APP.

This move by APP is the result of years of pressure from Indonesian and international NGOs challenging its role in large-scale rainforest clearance, including vital wildlife habitat and areas claimed by local communities.

On the other hand, Greenpeace also urged the Asia Pacific Resources International or APRIL, Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper producer, to follow the commitment made by APP in saving Indonesia’s rainforests.

According to statistics provided by Greenpeace, APP and APRIL together account for approximately 80 per cent of Indonesian pulp production. These companies, it said, are currently the only large-scale producers of pulp using rainforest fibre.

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