On February 5th Asia Pulp & paper the 1st year anniversary of its Forest Conservation Policy. To celebrate, APP organized a round table inviting Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and WWF. A year ago, with the launch of its FCP, APP committed an end to all deforestation activities across the 2.6m hectares of land in Indonesia on which it operates. Under the agreement APP pledged that all of its suppliers would adhere to the moratorium and that it would develop a system of sustainable forestry and conservation through work with the government, local communities and businesses.

 

“A year on, despite many challenges along the way, we are pleased that the moratorium is holding and that APP remains serious about delivering on its commitments.” commented Greenpeace.

“Aaside from the commendable cessation of logging activities in most of the operations of APP and its supply chain, even after one year, it is too soon to confirm that tangible conservation or social benefits have taken place on the ground as a result of APP’s policy.” wrote Lafcadio Cortesi, on Rainforest Action Network blog. “Most of the progress APP has made in the past year has been in collecting HCV and HCS data – most of which has yet to be shared making an assessment impossible – and in setting up teams, systems and processes such as consultants to conduct HCV assessments, protocols for standard operating procedures and the “dash board.” These are laudable and an essential component of implementing and broadening the company’s commitments, however they do not allow for evaluating whether promised reforms are having any impact” added Cortesi.”It is premature for potential customers and investors to consider establishing business ties with APP before such audit criteria have been agreed and before it has been independently verified that APP is meeting them.”

 

More skeptical is the comment released by the NGOs ntwork Eyes on the Forests: “Even the crucial commitments to save all natural forests, HCV and HCS areas have not become the reality. None of the assessments APP promised have been completed, so one of the most crucial outcome of the policy – decision on which areas would be protected by APP is still pending”.

“Although APP have invited many civilian society organizations for dialog based on APP’s committed for changes, our appreciation for these processes is limited because much of our inputs were not adopted by the company” added Muslim Rasyid from Riau based group Jikalahari ”for example, in development of policy implementation protocols, HCV and HCS assessments.”