In a major turnaround, APP is taking a lead with its forest protection and restoration initiative

Campaigners have hailed a new commitment by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to restore and conserve a million hectares of Indonesian rainforest, saying it sets a benchmark for operators around the world.

APP, which until only 18 months ago was the subject of intense criticism from activists for its rampant deforestation in the region over the past three decades, has worked with those same groups, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Forest Trust (TFT), since 2013.

In February 2013, APP announced an immediate and permanent cessation of natural forest clearance across its supply chain.

The new scheme, involving many stakeholders from government to communities and national parks, focuses on protection and restoration of an area roughly equal to the area of plantation from which APP sourced pulp fibre in 2013.

It will start with the natural forest in the 30 Hills landscape in Jambi, Sumatra, a vital habitat for tigers and elephants, before the identification of other “priority landscapes” in which APP and its suppliers operate.

Scott Poynton, founder and executive director of TFT, says the plan sets “a terrific precedent”.

“APP has said not only will seek to protect what remains, but it will also actually heal and restore some lands damaged in the...

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Asia Pulp & Paper  deforestation  Greenpeace  Indonesia  rainforest  WWF 

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