APRIL in Full Compliance With Sustainability Policies
Jakarta, 9 July 2014 : Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (“APRIL”) today affirmed that it is in full compliance with its sustainable forest management policies and that attacks on its credibility by Greenpeace are off-base.
“We’re sticking to all the policies we announced in January this year. Our Sustainable Forest Management Policy (SFMP) is being vigorously implemented and overseen by an independent, multi-party Stakeholder Advisory Committee. We are working towards a one-to-one commitment for conservation, meaning one hectare of conservation for every hectare of plantation area,” said Michael Zampa, APRIL Director of Corporate Communications.
“We have been identifying and protecting areas of high conservation value (HCV) in our land concessions since 2005. Overall, we only use about 50% of our concessions for plantation establishment, with most of the balance being conservation or for community use,” he said.
To date APRIL has conserved 250,000 hectares of conservation forest. We plant 150 million trees annually on our concessions to improve the productivity of other land that was already degraded. We operate only on areas that are not of high conservation value.
Other policies, which have also been adopted by APRIL’s suppliers, include:
- A moratorium on any activities in APRIL or supplier concessions where High Conservation Value assessments have yet to be completed
- Restoration of 40,000 hectares of forest through eco-restoration activities
- Completion of plantation establishment by the end of this year
- All fibre to come from plantation sources by the end of 2019
- Commitment to the principles of Free, Prior, Informed Consent in our engagement with local communities
Greenpeace circulated photos of work being undertaken on APRIL’s concession on the island of Pulau Padang, claiming APRIL was deceiving customers about its sustainability practices. That is not the case.
Plantation establishment work there only started after thorough third party assessment of the concession area. High Conservation Value forest was identified and is being conserved in that concession. The photos circulated by Greenpeace are all of APRIL’s non-HCV operational areas designated for plantation development.
Land management plans on APRIL’s Pulau Padang concession have also been the subject of extensive review by the Indonesian authorities and other third parties over the past two years. APRIL is in compliance with all requirements.
APRIL has for decades practiced a strict no-burn policy in its concessions. Fire causes damage to concessions and it is a commercial imperative for APRIL and its suppliers to ensure that any fires that do occur are extinguished as quickly as possible. APRIL has committed significant resources to fire surveillance and fire management, including air and ground surveillance and a well-equipped fire fighting force.
We regularly and transparently provide information about the threat of fires through a fire tracker on our website and other initiatives are referenced in our blog. Greenpeace referenced a fire in one of our supplier concessions. The public had already been updated about this through the www.aprildialog.com blog. The fire was started on community land and subsequently spread into the supplier’s operating area. A helicopter and 15 firefighters were dispatched to extinguish the fire.
We do not comment on dealings with specific customers or on what others may have said to Greenpeace about us. We are however completely transparent with our customers about our sustainability policies. We regularly communicate with bankers and customers about our progress and compliance.
For further information contact:
Michael Zampa, Director Corporate Communications