Destruction of High Conservation Value Forests
Destruction of high conservation value forests
- The company did not conduct multistakeholder consultations to endorse HCVF findings prior to building infrastructure, draining peat soils and felling trees. Instead they conducted a greenwash campaign
- The company has continued forest clearance despite protests from WWF including clearing some of the company’s self identified HCVF blocks
- Most of the natural forest cleared by APRIL’s wood suppliers since 2009 would likely be considered HCVF according to the HCVF multistakeholder endorsed toolkit
- 2009 was the beginning of an all out assault on Sumatra’s most precious peat forests and with it the global climate (by APRIL)
APRIL: Indonesia has approximately 131 million hectares of forest estate. The Indonesian Government has zoned 53 million hectares as conservation and protected forests and about 78 million hectares for production forest development.
All of APRIL’s wood supply comes from these development zones, on land that the Indonesian Government has licensed specifically for industrial plantation development (HTI).
Production forest concessions licensed to APRIL were already largely in a degraded state at the point when APRIL took them over. The term “natural forest” does not in practice mean those area are pristine or of high conservation value. Assertions that APRIL establishes plantations in areas of pristine “rainforest” or conservation areas are misleading and factually incorrect.
In addition to adherence to all laws and regulations governing conservation and peatlands, APRIL has been implementing a High Conservation Value (HCV) policy since 2005. This has resulted in more than 200,000 hectares of conservation forest and indigenous tree zones including supply partner concessions being set aside and protected in APRIL and its supply partner’s concessions.
Multistakeholder consultation is an inherent part of this process, contrary to assertions by EoF. For example, in Pulau Padang, our land use management plans including HCVF delineation were the subject of more than 60 community consultations over a period of 12 months, including sessions attended by media and NGOs.
EoF and others have a philosophical view that all forest areas within our concessions should be protected as HCVF. Our application of the same HCV Indonesia toolkit that they endorse using expert third parties leads to a responsible outcome in terms of HCVF protection, but it does not mean that all areas should automatically be considered of high conservation value.