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Rainforest Alliance, Peatland Experts to Evaluate APP Progress

APP logoThe Rainforest Alliance will evaluate the progress of Asia Pulp and Paper’s forest conservation policy and commitments, including its pledge last year to stop clearing natural forests across it supply chains in Indonesia, the company announced in its one-year report.

A team of peatland experts led by Wageningen University and Research Center will spend three months analyzing current peat management issues and opportunities in APP supplier concessions, according to the report. The team will propose a plan for a second phase of work that will identify an approach for moving towards responsible peat management. Recommendations from the team will ultimately be used to develop APP’s integrated sustainable forest management plans.

APP announced in February 2013 it would stop clearing natural forests across its supply chains in Indonesia, accelerating a pledge to use only trees from plantations by 2015. 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 agreed to 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.

Following a successful campaign to force APP to stop clearing natural forests, Greenpeace has turned its attention to leading competitor Asia Pacific Resources International. Last month, APRIL revealed plans for a sustainable forest management policy just weeks after the Indonesian pulp and paper giant was threatened with expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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