WWF responds to ambitious APP plan for restoration and conservation of one million hectares

EoF Press Release / 29 April 2014

Jakarta, Indonesia – WWF cautiously welcomes the restoration and conservation initiative announced today by the Sinar Mas Group’s Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).

By  declaring  its  intention to  restore  and  support  conservation  of  one million  hectares  of  natural  forest  and other  ecosystems  in  Sumatra  and  Kalimantan,  APP  has  substantially  strengthened  the  Forest  Conservation Policy it announced in February 2013.  

The  initiative  will  require  collaboration  with  other  land  managers,  communities,  government  agencies  and NGOs in the landscapes listed by APP in its announcement. Much analysis, innovation and consultation with many parties will be required to translate APP’s promise into effective restoration and conservation measures. 

WWF will continue discussions with APP and other stakeholders to offer input on potential implementation approaches, priorities and development of a time-bound action plan for achieving real conservation impacts.  

“WWF  and  other  NGOs  have  identified  the  lack  of  attention  to  APP’s  deforestation  legacy  as  a  major shortcoming in the original Forest Conservation Policy,” said Rod Taylor, Director of WWF’s Global Forest Programme.  

 “We are encouraged by this announcement and look forward to working with APP and other stakeholders to figure out the details of where and how forests will be restored and conserved under this initiative.”

APP’s new conservation and restoration commitment represents an area roughly equivalent to the total area of pulp  plantations  APP  currently  manages.  Sumatra  NGO  coalition  Eyes  on  the  Forest,  of  which  WWF-Indonesia  is  a  member,  estimates  that  APP  and  its  wood  suppliers  have  cleared  more  than  two  million hectares of tropical forest since beginning operations 30 years ago.   

“Abandoning deforestation after the damage is done cannot be all that it takes to be considered a responsible player.”  said  Aditya  Bayunanda  Forest  Commodities  Market  Transformation  Program  Leader  of  WWF-Indonesia.

 “APP’s  commitment  to  undertake  conservation  and  restoration  at  landscape  scale  is  encouraging,  though decisions on how this is done will need to involve local authorities, communities and other stakeholders.”

 “We also strongly believe that areas counting towards the one million hectare target should be additional to those that pulp concession holders are legally obliged to protect under Indonesian regulations”. 

APP recently agreed to an independent evaluation by Rainforest Alliance of its performance against its Forest Conservation Policy, as requested by WWF and other NGOs to provide a credible tool for buyers to assess whether the company has turned over a new leaf.

Bayunanda said: “WWF continues to advise businesses to ensure that APP is implementing the full suite of its commitments before making buying decisions.” “APP’s new restoration and conservation commitments will need to be firmed up through stakeholder input on implementation and clearly defined indicators of success.”

For further information, please kindly contact:

  • Rod Taylor, Director of Global Forests Programme, WWF-International

Email: rtaylor@wwfint.org 

  • Aditya Bayunanda, Forest Commodities Market Transformation Program Leader, WWF-Indonesia,

Email: abayunanda@wwf.or.id , Mobile: +62-818-265-588

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WWF  is  one  of  the  world's  largest  and  most  respected  independent  conservation  organizations,  with  over  5  million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural  environment  and  to  build  a  future  in  which  humans  live  in  harmony  with  nature,  by  conserving  the  world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. panda.org/news for latest news and media resources.