Indonesian govt freezes concession license of major APRIL supplier, half the size of Singapore

JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - In the middle of November 2015, the Indonesia's Minister of the Environment and Forestry froze the license of a large concession block belonging to a major supplier ofAPRIL, totaling more than 38,000 hectares - about half the size of Singapore - and encompassing peatlands on Rupat Island, in Sumatra's Riau province.

One of the sanctions incurred by the company in question was an obligation to apologize to the public through the mass media.

Subsequently, in early December 2015, this major supplier of APRIL's issued an apology through a mass media outlet, acknowledging that the burning ofpeatlandin its concession represented a catastrophe.

Meanwhile,Greenpeacecampaigner Rusmadya Maharuddin came out to say that this apology needed to be followed by a clear and clean resolution of the concession block license suspension in order to gain legal certainty, and also needed to be consistently backed up by the implementation ofAPRIL's sustainability policywith respect to this supplier.

"The legal process must be resolved in a clear and clean manner in parallel with the implementation of APRIL's sustainability policy, as previously committed, " Rusmadya toldforesthints.newsfrom Riau on Tuesday (Mar 8).

In response, APRIL Group Corporate Communications Director, Agung Laksamana, declared that APRIL did indeed enforce its rules whereby all of its suppliers had to comply with the companys sustainability policy.

"We are always striving to ensure that each and every one of our suppliers respects our sustainability policy. In light of this, if a supplier of ours is found to be in the wrong, by infringing this policy for example, we will not hesitate to sever our relationship with them," Agung explained toforesthints.newson Tuesday (Mar 8) in Jakarta.

The decree of the Minister of the Environment and Forestry freezing the operations of this large block belonging to the major APRIL supplier stated that the company had been found to have violated the relevant prevailing regulations in its operations in the block.

According to the ministerial decree, this violation was in fact ongoing, as based on the results of field supervision conducted by the ministry in the suppliers concession area where fires were taking place.

The ministers decree went on to declare that these fires had caused significant air pollution in the form of vast swathes of smoke, which had adversely affected the health of and caused suffering among the wider population.

The ministers decree went even further, demanding that the burned areas in the concession be returned to the state.