APRIL submits proposed new work plan, gaps still exist  

(foresthints.news) - PT RAPP, a subsidiary of Singapore-based pulp and paper giant APRIL, has submitted its proposed revised 10-year work plan (Dec 22) to the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry, just one day after its court defeat (Dec 21).

As previously reported by foresthints.news (Dec 22), the Jakarta State Administrative Court recently rejected a trio of requests made by the APRIL company, most notably a request that the ministry revoke the annulment of its old work plans.

“In some parts of PT RAPP's proposed revised work plan content, progress can be seen. However, some other parts still need specific corrections, both legally and technically,” the Ministry’s Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono explained to foresthints.news (Dec 27) at the ministry building.

In principle, the secretary general continued, the APRIL company cannot run away from or avoid the legal obligation for its work plan and operations to comply with the existing new peat regulations.

As such, he added, the APRIL company must eliminate the gaps in its proposed revised work plan so that it fully adheres to the new peat regulations.

“Pulpwood and palm oil companies that comply with the new peat regulations are clearly different to non-compliant companies. The ministry is very concerned about this when it comes to providing incentives and disincentives,” he pointed out.

The photographs below provide a reminder of the new peat development undertaken by the APRIL company in Sumatra’s Riau Kampar Peninsula landscape last year. This constituted a serious peat violation and resulted in the February 2016 version of the company’s work plan (its second revised version) being annulled by the ministry. 


The following photographs, meanwhile, call to mind how APRIL was forced to remove newly-planted acacia and fill in new canals developed in peat violation blocks in the Kampar Peninsula landscape on the order of the Indonesian forestry authorities.

7 pages of detailed corrections

In November this year, the ministry sent 7 pages of detailed corrections, consisting of more than 50 items, to the APRIL company as a basis for it to revise its annulled old work plans (the initial work plan and its first revised version).

“The ministry continues to refer to the 7 pages of detailed corrections sent to PT RAPP. From our side, we are still trying to speed up the approval of the company’s new work plan. However, of course it needs to be aligned with the new peat regulations first,” the secretary general asserted.

As long as gaps still exist between PT RAPP’s proposed revised work plan and the 7 pages of detailed corrections, the ministry will continue to withhold approval.

“This forms part of the government’s consistency in its efforts to improve peat governance from the corporate sector,” Bambang emphasized. 

APRIL, the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia, stated on the day of its court defeat (Dec 21) that it would revise its annulled old work plans in line with directives from the ministry. 

Nevertheless, it turns out that the proposed revised work plan submitted by the APRIL company - a single day after its loss in court - still contains gaps which require urgent revision.