APP companies show compliance, get work plans approved 

(foresthints.news) - Four major pulpwood companies under the control of Asia Pulp and Paper have demonstrated a clear level of legal compliance in improving peat governance, after successfully revising their 10-year work plans in line with Indonesia’s new peat regulations under the full direction of the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

The four pulpwood companies concerned are PT AA, located in Sumatra’s Riau province, along with PT BAP, PT BMH and PT SBAWI, all of which are situated on a single expanse of peat ecosystem in South Sumatra’s OKI regency.

The four APP companies cover a total of 880 thousand hectares, more than 12 times the size of Singapore.

The work plans of the four companies, which are valid for the next 10 years (2017-2026), were approved and signed by the Ministry’s Director General of Sustainable Production Forest Management, Putera Parthama, on behalf of Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya (Sep 29).

“I have already reported this update to the President, and his support remains firm when it comes to continuing with the implementation of an improved peat governance policy,” Minister Siti Nurbaya told foresthints.news on the day the four revised APP company work plans were approved at the ministry building.

The minister explained that the process involved in revising the four work plans was very stringent and exhausting, but has delivered a set of extremely important lessons learned, in a technical, policy consistency and leadership sense.

“APP has shown the attitude and commitment needed from the corporate sector to become part of efforts aimed at improving peat governance under the direction of the government,” the minister explained.

The following photos show sections of three APP pulpwood concessions located in a single expanse of peat ecosystem spanning more than half a million hectares in OKI regency that are incorporated in the revised 10-year work plans approved by the minister.

Third warning letter to APRIL

Unlike APP, Singapore-based pulp and paper giant APRIL instead received a stern warning letter from the ministry (Sep 28), a day before the revised work plans of the four APP companies were approved by the minister.

The warning letter, which was signed by the Ministry’s Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono on behalf of the minister, gave a final deadline of Monday (Oct 2) to PT RAPP, an APRIL-owned company, to submit a revised work plan.

“If PT RAPP fails to comply with this demand by the set deadline, the ministry has prepared a strong sanction,” cautioned the secretary general in speaking to foresthints.news (Sep 29).

This warning letter is the third such letter issued to the APRIL company for not having submitted a revised 10-year work plan with a substance consistent with the new peat regulations.

This case is ongoing ever since early October last year when the minister annulled the APRIL company’s newly-revised 10-year work plan because it included plans for new peat development.

Subsequently, the ministry also caught the APRIL company red-handed implementing its new peat development plan in Sumatra’s Riau Kampar peninsula landscape, as seen in the following photos:

Since the APRIL company was unwilling to comply with sanction imposed on it by the ministry requiring it to remove all newly-planted acacia, the ministry visited the concession and, in a symbolic move, uprooted this acacia.

Eventually the APRIL company was forced to remove the newly-planted acacia itself, as well as fill in newly-constructed canals, in accordance with the sanction issued against it by the minister, thereby avoiding having its permit suspended.

As for companies that are unwilling to comply with the new peat regulations, the Ministry’s secretary general was unequivocal. “There is no other choice but to impose administrative sanctions, starting with them being compelled by the government to take action, right up to the suspension and revoking of their permits."