Asia Pulp and Paper Group, one of the largest paper producers in the world, is serious about its pledge to end the clearing of natural forests, according to a progress review of the company’s Forest Conservation Policy.
Greenpeace International, a long-time critic of APP and the organization that conducted the progress review, is cautiously optimistic and warns that the company’s commitments are likely to stand or fall by the quality of conservation and management recommendations to the company’s senior management.
Despite the company’s progress, Greenpeace also cautions that paper buyers should monitor APP’s delivery of its Forest Conservation Policy and apply strict conditions to commercial contracts that require the company to make progress on its pledge.
At the time, Greenpeace applauded APP’s new commitment as a breakthrough in efforts to save Indonesian rainforests.
Under the policy, brokered by global forestry nonprofit the Forest Trust, APP will change the way it supplies its mills with fiber, ending its role in deforesting Indonesia’s remaining rainforests.
Under the supervision of the Forest Trust, APP and its suppliers will only develop non-forested areas identified through independent High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests assessments.
APP also pledged to protect forested peatland and use best practice management to reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions within the peatland landscape in an effort to support the Indonesian government’s low emissions development goal. The Jakarta-based company said it will avoid and resolve social conflicts across its supply chain as well as respect the rights of indigenous people and local communities where new plantations are proposed.
APP’s pledge followed a campaign by Greenpeace, which has pressured the pulp and paper producer — as well as the companies that used its products — to end the practice of clearing natural forests.
Just two months after APP made its pledge, however, WWF published an analysis that accused the company’s suppliers of clearing natural forest. The Forest Trust, which reviewed the complaints, found evidence of clearing natural forest, but not related to APP.