Five more APP companies have work plans approved

(foresthints.news) - Another five pulpwood companies which form part of the supply chains of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) - one of world’s largest pulp and paper players - have obtained approval for their revised work plans from the Indonesian authorities (Oct 13) by incorporating the set of new peat regulations into them.

The five pulpwood companies concerned, all of which operate across Sumatra’s Riau province, are PT BDL, PT SPM, PT RUJ, PT RIA and PT SGP.

Along with PT AA which was included in the first wave of approvals, this means that six APP pulpwood companies operating in Riau have had their revised work plans approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

On top of three APP companies in South Sumatra’s OKI regency, this makes a total of nine pulpwood companies under the control of APP - spread across the island of Sumatra - which have successfully received the approval of the ministry for their 2017-2026 revised work plans that are considered to be in line with the new peat regulations.

Below are photos from one of APP’s concessions situated in Sumatra’s Riau province, whose work plan has been approved by the ministry because it accommodates the new peat regulations.

APRIL’s contrasting degree of compliance

In sharp contrast to the legal compliance shown by APP, APRIL and its supply chains, especially those companies operating in Riau, have not yet had their revised work plans approved by the ministry for the opposite reason; they have so far failed to incorporate the new peat regulations into them.

Absorbing the new peat regulations into the revised work plans is not only the responsibility of APP given that APRIL’s supply chains were also linked to 2015’s devastating peat fires.

The ministry was also even forced to impose a sanction on PT RAPP, an APRIL company, as it was linked to 2016’s peat fires.

The three photos below reveal that the APRIL company was still involved in 2016’s peat fires, leading to the imposition of a sanction by the ministry on the Singapore-based company.

The ministry annulled the APRIL company’s existing 10-year work plan (Oct 16) and gave it an additional 10 days to submit a revised version, which complies with the new peat regulations, to the forestry authorities to get it approved.

The ministry did not stop there however, also imposing a new sanction (Oct 12) on the APRIL company compelling it to terminate its ground operations in its Pelalawan estate in Riau’s Kampar Peninsula landscape as the company was continuing to commit peat violations.

APRIL’s legal compliance promise

Ironically, APRIL’s Sustainable Forest Management Policy clearly states that APRIL’s operations are always to comply with the prevailing laws and regulations. This certainly also applies to its operations in Indonesia.

Indeed, APRIL even claims that its sustainability policy goes beyond legal compliance in order to achieve sustainable forest management practices.

There is of course a big question mark over that claim, considering that during 2016-2017 the APRIL company was caught red-handed carrying out peat violations in its Pulau Padang and Pelalawan estates, both of which are in Sumatra’s Riau province.

As previously reported by foresthints.news (Jun 27), Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya reaffirmed that the government definitely has many instruments in place to take corrective actions with regard to the implementation of the new peat regulations.

These corrective actions - as explained by Minister Siti Nurbaya - can only be achieved after the work plans of the companies involved are approved and implemented, in that lessons learned from the implementation of these work plans will be a key source of the corrective actions to be undertaken by the government.