Asia Pulp & Paper supports South Sumatran Government’s Landscape Approach

Asia Pulp & Paper supports South Sumatran Government’s Landscape Approach

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) today announced its support for the South Sumatra Government in addressing deforestation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) through developing a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve responsible landscape management.

APP, alongside IDH Sustainable Trade, the Dutch based NGO, is sponsoring today’s High Level Stakeholders Forum for Sustainable Landscape Approach, where stakeholders including representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, partner countries, communities, NGOs and the private sector, are meeting to form one partnership to develop a GHG reduction model that is effective, integrated and comprehensive.

Within this multi-stakeholder model, the South Sumatran Government has divided its region into three landscapes to be addressed accordingly: Peat and Mangrove; Water Catchment; and Dry and Lowland areas. At today’s forum, APP will present its initiative to develop peatland management best practice as an example in taking an integrated approach to help tackle deforestation and reducing GHGs, while supporting local communities.

Following the September 2014 signing of the New York Declaration on Forests by the Government of Indonesia and APP, Alex Noerdin, the Governor of South Sumatra, and APP were invited to take part in the March 2015 Bonn Challenge 2.0.  At this event, further ambitious actions were encouraged to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested land by 2020 with South Sumatra named as a priority on the international restoration agenda. This latest initiative also forms part of the Indonesian Government’s commitment made at the 2009 G20 Summit in Pittsburgh to cut GHG emissions by 26% through the nation’s own efforts, or by 41% with international co-operation by 2020.

Now in its third year of implementing its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), and having recently published its FCP Implementation Plan: 2015 and Beyond, which followed the independent evaluation of the FCP by Rainforest Alliance, APP has been closely involved in long-term and significant efforts to reduce GHG emissions in South Sumatra.  APP recently launched a two-year, multimillion dollar project with independent researchers Deltares to establish best practice in peat management. The project, involving the detailed 3D scanning of 4.5 million hectares of Sumatran peatland using innovative LiDAR technology marks the first project of this scale to be introduced anywhere in the world.

As a result of APP’s FCP commitment and its landscape masterplan across its operation in Sumatra and Kalimantan, relevant data has already been mapped regarding High Conservation Value (HCV), High Carbon Stock (HCS), community mapping, and the neighbouring concessions holders. This work is crucial in defining the landscape and contributing to clearer spatial planning in the region, allowing stakeholders in the area to understand the boundaries they are operating within.

Aida Greenbury, APP’s Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, said: “As one of the stakeholders operating in this landscape, we are well aware of our commitment to preserve it for the future. We have long championed the multi-stakeholder approach in order to achieve true, lasting change in forest conservation. We cannot approach the problem of climate change in isolation, we need to consider the viability, responsible management and the sustainability of the entire landscape, and encourage all interested parties to be involved in finding a solution. To do this we must develop effective, clear mechanisms for stakeholders to engage with the issue, to understand the roles and responsibility in managing the landscape – from the businesses who oversee the concessions to governments and policy makers addressing climate change, and the communities and NGOs on the ground.”

Alex Noerdin, Governor of South Sumatra added: “We all recognise that our forests are integral to the sustainability of our environment, as well as our lives. Deforestation and forest degradation are the focus and responsibility of the global community, as the effects of environmental damage transcend regions and countries. This is why we are developing a vision that includes all stakeholders through an integrated approach on forest and land management for sustainable development. It is an ambitious undertaking, but we are aware it is the only way to achieve harmony between environmental protection, economic development, and social welfare in one landscape.”

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